Tame the MRC threat now, State urged

March 26, 2012 1:56 pm
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Such graffiti is inscribed across the coastal town/CAPITAL FM NEWS

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 26 – Residents at the Coast are increasingly worried by persistent intimidation from members of the Mombasa Republican Council (MRC) who are threatening to boycott the next general election.

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Some of the residents interviewed by Capital FM News urged the government to intervene and tackle the issue before it gets out of hand because MRC members are even vowing to evict people from other communities who live and work in the Coast unless their demands are met.

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Demands made by the outlawed group include repossessing land occupied by people from other communities within the county, including foreigners.

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“This is worrying… such threats and demands made by this group should not be taken lightly. I think the government is not doing enough to suppress the group,” one resident Joel Mwaura who runs a tailoring shop told Capital FM News from his business premise next to the Likoni police station on Saturday.

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Mwaura said it worries him even more because he has to live with the reality of staring at writings and graffiti on a wall of an unoccupied building just next to his business premise.

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Many walls in various suburbs of Mombasa are beleaguered with graffiti inscribed “Pwani si Kenya!”

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Chalo Okwemba, another resident who has stayed in the Coast for more than 20 years said the threats were worrying them even more, because they are issued openly.

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“You cannot take them lightly; these people walk around here threatening us. The government is not doing enough to assure us of our security,” Okwemba who works at an oil company said.

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In Ukunda for instance, youths openly talk about and associate themselves openly with MRC.

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“Whoever is condemning MRC is misplaced, this is going to be our saviour. You see we have no jobs, yet people from other communities have come here and grabbed lucrative jobs,” a boda boda operator only identifying himself as Mwashimba said, adding “I am a trained accountant yet I hop around with a boda boda.”

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One youth who owes allegiance to MRC vowed that “MRC is not just a movement, this is a government, and we will do our own elections just like Kenya is preparing for their elections.”

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He would not reveal his identity instead saying “we are changing our IDs when we secede from Kenya, my name will not help you for now.”

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Last Saturday, rowdy youths linked to the outlawed MRC group disrupted a mock election exercise in Malindi and roughed up Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) officials before grabbing a gun from a police officer deployed to secure a primary school where the exercise was taking place.

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MRC officials declined to grant us an interview over their persistent threats of secession.

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Coast Provincial Police chief Aggrey Adoli told Capital FM News that he has an elaborate plan of dealing with the unlawful group.

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“Nobody should be worried of an eviction; Kenya is for all Kenyans and even foreigners. There is no group that can purport to own a section of Kenya, so to us those just empty threats,” Adoli said, and assured residents of “maximum security at all times. No one should be threatened at all.”


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