King Charles winds up visit with ride on tuktuk

President William Ruto and First Lady Rachel Ruto bid farewell to King Charles III at Moi International Airport in Mombasa. [PCS]

Heavy rains and flooding yesterday almost dampened King Charles III’s and Queen Camilla’s tour of the coast

The king came face to face with Mijikenda kaya elders when he held a meeting with members of the Coast Interfaith Council of Clerics (CICC) at the ACK Memorial Cathedral.

Kaya Mtswakara chairman in Kwale County Shaban Ndegwa said the King said they were happy that the killing of elderly people on claims of practicing witchcraft featured in the meeting with the king.

“We are very happy to have been recognised by the King as a CICC team. He has expressed willingness to support us,” said Ndegwa.

King Charles lll arrived at 11.55am after initially changing course to hold a brief meeting with Muslim leaders at Mandhry mosque, one of the oldest mosques in the country.

The King was received at the Mosque by the chairperson of the Mandhry Mosque Committee, Sheikh Ali Said Al-Mandhry; Mombasa chair, Coast Interfaith Council of Clerics, Sheikh Mahamud Abdillahi Mahamud and Mombasa Governor Abdullswamad Nassir, and a young religious leader, Sheikh Mohammed Ali Muadhan.

The King was taken on a tour of the mosque where he viewed artifacts from the Mosque’s history, including a portion of the original door installed in the 16th century, and a handwritten copy of the Quran.

 At the cathedral, the King was received by Mombasa ACK Diocese Bishop Alphonce Baya and ushered in for the CICC meeting that lasted about 20 minutes.

The meeting was attended by Christian, Muslim, Hindu, and African traditional faiths elders who are members of the CICC.

Bishop Baya said the King came to hear the story about a CICC programme known as Reinvent that was sponsored by the British High Commission to promote peace.

“He asked questions and compared our work and what he does back in the UK with religious leaders to promote peace. He was humble and even apologised for coming late,” Bishop Baya said.

CICC chief executive officer Rev Dr Stephen Anyenda said his group was involved in promoting peace, security and development.

King Charles III later greeted the church choir and viewed the cathedral building which was the first to be established in East Africa marking 120 years this year.

Separately, Queen Camilla met survivors of domestic violence and volunteers at the Situation Room in Tononoka.

The Queen learned from the survivors how they are supported and shared her own insights from working in this area.

The Situation Room is a one-stop shop for survivors of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV). She was received by Gender CS Ms Aisha Jumwa.

The King unveiled a plaque marking his visit before he and the Queen toured the nearby Fort Jesus.

King Charles viewed the Omani doors and walked along the harbour-facing wall to a vantage point overlooking the ocean.

The King and Queen then proceeded to the old Kitchen where they viewed products being sold by young creative entrepreneurs.

At the fort’s chapel ruins, they were entertained by a Mijikenda ceremonial dance by Jukwaa Arts, which, through visual and performing visual arts, addresses social issues in the community.

Fort Jesus was built by the Portuguese from 1593-1596 and used for over 100 years. The fort bears testimony to the first European attempts to control Indian Ocean trade routes.

The King and the Queen boarded an electric three wheeler (tuktuk) in their campaign for use of clean energy.