The residents of Qwale broke out the champagne/Mnazi (palm wine) earlier in the week-or they would have if they drank-as their long fought for goal was attained when the ban that had been placed on the group illegalizing it was finally lifted by the courts in Mombasa. The party members then proceed to loudly celebrate their ‘victory’ on the steps of the Mombasa law courts. The three high court judges who struck out the gazette notice that termed the group illegal said they were doing so because there was no evidence that group had participated in acts of violence and instead implored the members to form themselves into a political party or a social one from whence they can push for their agenda peacefully.
The now legitimized group’s euphoria was too early in coming as the judges cautioned the group that any sort of violence would not be tolerated and that hate speech and propaganda would also be unacceptable. It seemed that the group whose primary motivation is to secede and- in their view- liberate the coastal strip from what they say is prejudice from the government were at a disadvantage because if they were indeed to follow the conditions laid down by the judges they would have to repackage or worse shelve their agenda.
So when the group’s members filled joyfully back into the streets they were more determined than ever to continue bull headedly with their only agenda since inception: to-unwisely-extricate the coastal strip from the rest or the nation for what they could term as the persistent turning of a blind eye to the issues that are important to a section of coastal people. MRC was one of 32 illegal sects in the country and one cannot help but wonder whether the other 30+ will now see it fitting to take a page out of the councils play book and march their displeasure before the mercy of the justice systems, eager to be legitimized.
This decision by the court has drawn sharp restrictions and warning from some sections of government who say time and again that they are open to talks with the group on anything and everything but their secession agenda-well that defeats their purpose because that’s their key raison d’exsistance-adding that this legalisation was not a free pass to engaging in illegal acts.
In what is sure to morph itself into a vigorous tug of war between state and sect with each side sticking to its side of the line with each pulling and advocating for their very specific agenda: the MRC are still adamant that they can succeed without Kenya, and ministers like Eugene Wamalwa rigidly standing their ground by stating that: ‘If we have a group at the coast that will endanger tourists and other Kenyans living at the coast, that is a group that we must fight to ensure that they are not allowed to achieve their objectives’. With each picking their side and watching the other intently for even the slightest misstep there are  who have found or positioned themselves strategically slap bang in the middle by advocating that both sides need to hear each other out and come to a mutually beneficial resolution the PM is sure to be seen as neither friend nor foe-a move that some would consider prudent especially as this is an election year, a time when alienation of anyone people or community could prove costly.
As the PM made statements in favour of mutual dialogue-saying that the government ‘must be prepared to dialogue with other people’- the acting Internal Security minister Yusuf Haji had a take no prisoners warning for the newly legalized group to watch their step or risk being out in the cold, saying: “If MRC regard this decision as a carte blanch to lawlessness, then they are on their own. The court cannot mute respondents from exercising their constitutionally ordained obligation of ensuring security for all Kenyans” He also advised that the government should talk and consult with coastal leaders and not just individuals and groups over the MRC’s demands”
 Haji’s warning to the Mombasa Republican Council did not end there as he went to warn them that if they stepped over the court sanctioned line that:  the State, as always, can invoke the law including the Prevention of Organized Crimes Act,” The MRC were not the only ones on the ministers warning list as he wasted no time in cautioning his fellow government officials say that ‘the issue should not be politicized’ saying that and “the country cannot afford to have different arms of government sending out conflicting messages”  that his ministry-Internal Security-‘will from now on be taking the lead in all issues relating to the government’s position on the matter of MRC’. Haji wants the matter to be handled by Civil Servants and not politicians who he says are seeking popularity and votes.
The question and elephant in the room remains can reason negotiate with those so gung ho and stuck on their long existing agenda, people who insist on seeing only their side as the right and logical view point. Even more frightening and worrisome to residents at the coast and any prospective tourists is could there come a time when this now legal group see no other solution out of the developing statement but to snatch the sunny, peaceful holiday destination into ‘liberation’ and autonomy by force? 
 As it stands now the MRC will not cease in their calls and plans-logical or irrational- to secede and the government in the form its now self appointed lead in the matter will defiantly not back down the country now seems to be at a stand off!

...Or A Fatal Error In Judgement?

Fisheries minister Amason Kingi is the first to tell anyone he is lucky to be alive as his bodyguards swung into protective mode when a mob came at them with Pangas poised.  The harrowing attack took place at a public rally in Mtwapa. The government through the Internal Security Minister Katoo Ole Metito now points a long accusing finger at the MRC who have also been involved in preventing people from collecting their Identification Cards, warning residents not to register themselves as Clerks in the March 2013 polls, and planning to disrupt the KCSE and KCPE examinations.

As time goes by it seems that the now legitimate group have decided not to heed the orders of the court but instead to continue calling for cessation. On their part the MRC deny having anything to do with the attack that left four people dead.
Armed with mounting evidence against group the government will now head back to the courts to challenge the ruling that legitimized the group in July this year.


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