By Barrow Bakeeri
Minister Mohamed Elmi’s recent expression of sympathy for Mombasa Republican Council ( MRC) and his stern warning that Northern Kenya may follow suit rekindles memories of Kenya’s first ever historical referendum conducted by the then British Government in 1962 on the political future of North Eastern Province or the former Northern Frontier Districts (NFD).
What the Northern Kenya Minister is trying to reactivate through MRC rhetoric is 50 years old and is as dead as the Dodo. The Minister’s statement is untimely and uncalled for and in contradiction with the mandate of his ministry, tailor-made to address the historical injustices he is lamenting about.
Elmi’s bluff is clear indication he is not devoted to the objectives of Devolution and could prove a poor implementer of the new Constitution and aspirations outlined in Vision 2030.
If Elmi is a true sympathizer of MRC, then he is very late in catching his party’s political train that plans to sponsor a Motion to address MRC grievances in Parliament. The plan was to request Speaker Kenneth Marende to constitute an ad hoc committee to dialogue with the outlawed group.
Marende has since rejected the request for such committee and directed the matter to the two existing, relevant committees (Equal Opportunities and Administration and National Security) to give back a comprehensive report within 60 days.
Question remains whether Elmi can marshal support for an NRC (Northern Republican Council).
The true sympathisers or protagonists of MRC whether genuine or not have shown their true allegiances on the floor of the House. Elmi’s version and venue must qualify as hate speech. The Minister gave only one, and insubstantial reason, as to why he wants to revisit the lost secession melee in NEP of the 1960s.
disagree on principle
That the coalition government that he serves as a Cabinet minister has protested the region’s 2009 population census results that may have ramifications on the newly created Tarbaj Constituency, Lagdera and the entire Mandera County if the Courts rule otherwise. Why can’t he raise the matter in Parliament?
Isn’t it ironic that cancellation of NEP Census came from his ODM counterpart and Minister Wycliffe Oparanya and was from an exercise supervised by the PM’s Office. Therefore, where does Elmi’s finger of blame point at? If government contemplates that the NEP census was “cooked”, then the simple answer would have been a recount.
And if the government gets it wrong after such recount, then Elmi would have had a genuine platform to hit back at the government and resign as his NEP marginalisation claim would have a foot to stand on. Then his call for secession would echo that of the special representative for NDF, the late Abdirashid Khalif. Elmi would then be worthy to tie the shoelaces of the late Khalif.