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Police probe defacing of iconic Mombasa Ivory tusks

07 October 2014, 17:12 Mbungu Harrison

Mombasa - Police in Mombasa are yet to identify individuals who last week defaced the iconic Ivory tusks located along Moi Avenue in Mombasa central business district.

However, the media learnt that police in Mombasa have not yet established the motive of the incident which has sharply elicited reactions from tourism stakeholders who termed it as a sabotage on the sector.

On Thursday night, some unknown people painted the iconic tusks with red paint and left graffiti reading, “Mombasa not for Ivory; export before they vanished".

The tusks are an eyesore for residents within the CBD and those traveling from upcountry to Mombasa cannot resist the temptation to take photos of the cultural symbols.

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Led by Water and Environment Executive Director, Fatma Awale and Heritage Hotels CEO Mohammed Hersi, they said the move was indiscipline and that whoever will be found guilty of the offense will be charged in a court of law.

"We don't condone the killing of elephants, but somebody should not take it upon themselves to deface County property to pass a message,” said Fatma Awale.

They raised fears that those who committed the offense would have terrorized the locals without the knowledge of police.

The Kenya Tourism Association Chairman, Mohammed Hersi said the action was a surprise since Kenya has maintained the iconic sculptures for years without anyone interfering with them.

The site has been acting as a tourist site and local leaders have called on the police to expedite investigations and bring those involved to book.

Hersi on his Facebook page wrote, “For anyone to come and deface it ostensibly to communicate their disgust about ivory trading in the country is totally unacceptable. We can easily have a sign stating our stand but defacing it will is not right."

The Aluminum tusks were constructed to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II's visit to Kenya in 1952.

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