A morning meeting is canceled and hence find myself with time to wander around Mombasa CBD.
The junction of Digo and Nkurumah Road brings back memories of the 70s when we lived in Mombasa. It was here that Hayati Mzee Jomo Kenyatta would come for his ‘working holiday’. His entrance to the city would be through these two roads as he made way to Treasury Square located near Fort Jesus, where he would address the swirling crowds.
We always woke up early and lined the street eagerness written all over our faces. His entry never disappointed. Security was tight enforced by the replesently uniformed men and women of the Kenya police. His entry tended to be round about noon since he was chauffered down from Nairobi past Mtito Andei to the coast.
I recall this one visit that so a volkswagen car lifted onto the pavement by policemen. The car was parked Opposite the Mombasa Cathedral of the Anglican Church. As his arrival time neared you could see worried cops frantically looking for the owner. The driver was nowhere. The presidential motorcade flanked by motorbike outriders reached the intersection and began turning towards the square. A police chase car arrived and anxious burly policemen lifted the car and damped it on the curb just as the presidential limousine thundered past, very much to our amusement.
Such were the times. Once a tourist was rudely told to ‘bloody shut your camera..!’.
I am still at a loss why it was that the president was always escorted by several beautiful young policewomen riding in police blue Mercedez cars? Did they have a specific security function?