Former MRC leaders fault court decision to lift ban
By Patrick Beja
| July 29th 2016
Former members of the Mombasa Republican Council have criticised the recent ruling by the Court of Appeal lifting the ban on the movement.
The former members and some leaders in Kwale County, where it was very active prior to 2013, are also questioning the timing and implication of the latest development. The movement was blamed for voter apathy in the county in 2013. One leader even suggested that the State is, secretly happy with the Court of Appeal judgement because it will embolden the MRC and suppress voting in the Opposition strongold.
Thursday, Kwale County Orange Democratic Movement Secretary Omar Boga faulted the appellate court’s decision. Mr Boga who is also the Bongwe/Gombato MCA and deputy majority leader in Kwale County Assembly said the Government might be working with the secessionist group to ensure locals in the coastal region don’t vote for CORD yet again in 2017.
He said the court decision is suspect because of the timing since it was delivered some months to General Election just like in 2013. Prior to 2012, MRC leaders opposed elections in Coast leading to 57 per cent registration and 51 per cent turn out on voting day.
“We agree the region has been marginalised for a long time. We agree that MRC is not an outfit which is violent, but was agitating for important issues of the region. But our worry is the timing of the ruling favouring MRC with the time of election,” he said.
And Thursday, former MRC members led by the organisation’s former Kisauni Chairman Amani Chifwete asked the Government to challenge the ruling at the Supreme Court claiming it could trigger lawlessness and disrupt next year’s elections.
“This movement deviated from its original agenda of fighting for land rights and seeking redress for historical injustices at the Coast and focused on secession. The state should maintain its ban at all costs,” Mr Chifwete said.
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