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Eastleigh is not ‘Little Mogadishu’ – MP

Kamukunji Member of Parliament Yusuf Hassan has denounced  the ‘Little Mogadishu’ label often used to describe Eastleigh.

Mr Hassan aid the label portrays Eastleigh as an outpost of Somalia republic and not as part of Kenya.

He said the label, coined from the area’s large population of Somalis, paints the area negatively and is affecting business.

Eastleigh has been associated in the media with terrorism, money laundering and a hide-out for Somali pirates.

“I do not like that at all. It is part of demonization of Eastleigh despite the fact that this is a dynamic multi-ethnic, multi-religious and a diverse entrepreneurial centre for thousands of Kenyans,” he said in an interview with Nairobi News.

He said terrorism is not an Eastleigh problem but a national challenge.

Thousands of Nairobians  visit Eastleigh for shopping every day.

“Imagine the quantity of fuel used to ferry visitors to Eastleigh? It is the largest hawkers market in the country where thousands of Kenyans get commodities at cheap prices,” said Mr Hassan.

He also argued that the malls and ongoing constructions in the area are financed by Kenyans in diaspora and bank loans.

“It is not true that construction industry is being driven by piracy money. That kind of money goes to cities like Dubai. The boom (in Eastleigh) is driven by Kenyans in diaspora and bank loans.

“And does it really matter assuming that they were built on piracy money? The buildings remain to be in Eastleigh and in Kenya. It does not matter whether they are built by refugees or immigrants since they benefit Kenyans. They cannot take the buildings with them,” he argued.

He pointed out that economies of large cities like London depend on external investors regardless of how the money was acquired.

“It is just demonizing the place considering the fact that the things that happen there have happened elsewhere in Nairobi.”