But the movement started demanding secession of the province from the rest of the country under their rallying call, triggering anxiety in Government.
Recently, members of the group disrupted mock voting organised by IEBC, disarmed a police officer, and disappeared with a firearm.
In Mombasa a leading Muslim cleric Juma Ngao who leads the Kenya Muslim Advisory Council joined the growing ranks of local opposition to the separatist group, accusing it of trying to force its will on local people. A State Counsel Emmanuel Bitta accused MRC of plotting to ‘cleanse’ coastal of non-indigenous citizens and participating in the 2007 post-election violence. He warned against lifting the ban against MRC.
Reports from Kilifi indicated police returning from a patrol at around 6.30am arrested eight suspects, and the cards were found on them. They were also caught with some form of charms linked to oathing.
The suspects included a boy, 14, captured as he tried to get into the meeting. On Sunday two pupils in primary and secondary school were arrested after spraying MRC’s separatist slogan Pwani Si Kenya on a church in Malindi. Ngao warned poverty was pushing the youth to join the outlawed movement. The identity cards recovered included photographs, serial numbers and other data issued after new members discarded Kenyan IDs.
Kilifi DC Fredrick Ayieko said police officers received intelligence reports from the public that some members of the outlawed group were meeting in that area.
“The eight suspects were nabbed by officers who were on patrol today at 6.30am. They looked suspicious. Upon arrest, officers recovered the ID cards, membership registration receipts, and some paraphernalia believed to be used for witchcraft,” Ayieko said.
He said that the group was threatening the public by inciting them not to vote, adding upon interrogation, the suspects admitted they were members of the outlawed group.
“We have also received some intelligence report that members of MRC were trying to train and recruit members at Kaya Jibana in Kaloleni,” he added.
Ayieko said MRC has many members in Kaloleni because of the numerous Kayas (forests), which they use for training. He reminded journalists that last year two suspects were arrested at Kaya Fungo.
The official said some of the recruits arrested had come from Mushomoroni and Kisauni. He said they would be charged in court.
“It appears they had come to Kaloleni for a special mission concerning MRC,” said Ayeko.
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