Mathare residents demonstrate over closure of ground
By Felix Omondi
Mathare residents held a peaceful demonstration in Mathare Area 3C demanding the reopening of Mathare Police Depot ground for public use. The walk began at Austin ground and crisis-crossed different sections of Mathare Area 3C that is served by the ground.
The match gathered momentum and headed to present their petition in parliament. The group was able to hand over their dully signed petition to Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja and Rashid Echesa, the Cabinet Secretary for Sports who promised to handle thematter swiftly with the seriousness it deserves.
The Mathare Police Depot ground was two years ago by the area OC Joseph Mutua who demanded the construction of basic facilities such as changing rooms, toilets and stands before it is opened to the public.
The area residents complied with the demands and the ground was reopened for a short while before Mutua shut it down once again in mid this year amid allegations that he charges teams a fee to train and play at the ground.
The peaceful walk was organized by a group dubbed Mathare Unified that comprises of various football teamsin Mathare who have been greatly hit by the grounds closure. They include SHOFCO Mathare, Real Mathare, Zamalek, Pequininoes and Wazalendo FC.
The affected teams use the ground for training ground and also serves as a turf for home matches. So far, they havebeen forced todig deep into their pockets to use alternative grounds.