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Poverty turning Sheikhs to Al Shabaab recruitment agents

20 July 2015, 10:25 Ken Wekesa

Mombasa - Mombasa Island deputy County Commissioner, Salim Mohammed has said Mombasa sheikhs and imams are prone to become Al Shabaab recruitment agents due to their living standards.

Mohammed said the Somali terror group is now deceiving the sheikhs to be their recruiting agents in their Mosques and Madras.

Speaking during the Eid ul Fitr baraza at the Treasury square in Mombasa, the deputy County Commissioner called upon leaders to provide for the clerics whom he said were languishing in poverty despite the role they play in the communities.

“Al Shabaab are using our sheikhs to recruit youth in exchange for money. We should pay our clerics to avoid such situations," said Mohammed.

He also urged the leaders to share vital information with the police that will help fight crime within the Majengo and Kibokoni areas where a group of 'buibui-clad assassins' and 'knife gangs' have mushroomed.

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He said security was key to the prosperity of the region.

“Information sharing will be key towards tackling gangs in Mombasa that are creating fear among residents,” said Mohammed.

Mvita Member of Parliament, Abdulswamad Sherrif Nassir blamed parents in Majengo and Old town area for increased insecurity in the area and dismissed recent claims that it had been caused by lack of employment.

“You cannot convince me that a 14-year-old is stabbing people because of lack of employment. Such a kid should be in school,” said Abdulswamad.

He said parents will be held responsible for such attacks if they do not cooperate with security agents.

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