By Hassan Omar Hassan
I have often said in this column that the concerns of the Mombasa Republican Council ( MRC) are legitimate. That these concerns must ultimately be addressed. But I have also stated that I do not support the MRC in its secessionist quest.
That there exist sufficient avenues in the ‘new’ Constitution to address and redress the legitimate concerns of the Coast. And if the MRC ever doubted me, the High Court ruling must give them a glimmer of faith in the new order. It must restore hope.
I trust that the good Justices John Mwera, Francis Tuiyot, and Mary Kasango who lifted the ban on the MRC, are ‘’. Yet they let not fear and deception blur the clarity of the Constitution and justice. These three Kenyans have done more towards national security and preservation of Kenya’s territorial unity than ‘our’ fear-mongering Government.
They also put a ‘caveat’ on discretion. Discretion is not absolute, must be exercised judiciously, and be guided by the parameters of the Constitution. Have you taken note of how many decisions of the Executive the courts have quashed? It demonstrates how poorly governed we are and illustrates the rogue nature of absolutist tendencies of undemocratic governments.
The judgement too raised the bar on public policy and interest. That the Government cannot out of its own discretion ban Kenyans from articulating their concerns either as individuals or a collective. I do believe that if the land issues in Mt Elgon were resolved justly and expeditiously, the militia Sabaot Land Defence Force (SLDF) would not arise.
If we created hope in our youth and provided opportunities for self actualisation and decent standards of life, groups like the Mungiki would not evolve into criminal gangs. What the High Court also said is worth noting. That the Government failed to demonstrate that the MRC was involved in crime. Undoubtedly the actual and alleged criminals are in Government.
The Kenyatta day looters and land grabbers of coastal prime lands and resources who are at the core of the current Government. Concerns of justice and equity and the mechanisms for historical redress provide us an opportunity to grab back our wealth.
Rather than addressing these concerns, they monger fear. They want you and me to believe that the MRC is equivalent to the monika or SLDF to sweep the issues under the carpet. In fear of losing your coastal beaches, you become a chorus of the corrupt, criminalising legitimate concerns under a hollow pretext of national security.
In advising the MRC to form a political party, the High Court was taking cognisance of the legitimacy of the MRC concerns. My advice to the youth is to face challenges head-on. From the Kibakis we inherit a legacy of poverty, disenfranchisement, hopelessness, and marginalisation.
These issues won’t just go away by banning certain groups or lodging bullets in the heads of poor young Kenyans. The injustices and inequities have pushed Kenya to the brink. Our long-term security is about addressing these concerns.
The ‘’ in the Coast, have no fear! No one will expel you from your homes. To the MRC, get real. Identify your real ‘enemy’. The poor disenfranchised are too victims of the looting class. They make ends meet through sweat and toil of hard labour. I promise you, they are going nowhere.