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Where is MRC leader? Court asks Mike Sonko

By Willis Oketch | August 16th 2016

Nairobi Senator Gideon Mbuvi Sonko has been asked to explain the whereabouts of missing controversial Mombasa Republican Council (MRC) leader Omar Mwamnwadzi.

The senator has stood surety for Mr Mwamnwadzi, who is facing many court cases in Kwale and Mombasa counties since 2012.

Mwamnwadzi, who comes from Kwale, founded MRC to agitate for the secession of the Kenyan coast citing marginalisation and colonial treaties he claims caused the unilateral absorption of the region into the rest of Kenya during the colonial period.

Mwamnwadzi and his followers have denied State claims linking them to illegal oathing, murder and subversion.

The State says Mwamnwadzi has failed to appear for trial in the many cases facing him in Kwale and Mombasa, and also accuses him of uttering a false medical report showing he has been away from court due to illness.

"Your honour, I am applying for a warrant of arrest against Mwamnwadzi for failing to turn up in court for his trial along with others who are in the court today," said Alexander Jamii, the principal prosecutor, yesterday.

Mr Jamii told Mombasa Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti that the investigation officer had been unable to trace Mwamnwadzi.

"There are three warrants of arrest against Mwamnwadzi for failing to turn up for the trial of three cases he is facing in a Kwale court," Jamii said.

Sonko stood surety for Mwamnwadzi by depositing a title deed when the MRC leader was first arrested on October 2, 2012.

The magistrate issued the warrant and summons for Sonko to come to court on August 30 to explain where where Mwamnwadzi was.

At the time, Sonko was the MP for Makadara. Mwamnwadzi had appeared in court bloodied after he was arrested in a violent confrontation at his home in Kombani, Kwale.

Violence broke out in Kwale following his arrest, leading to the beheading of a local chief. Police claimed that shots were fired from Mwamnwadzi's house during the arrest in which two of his aides were shot and killed, and two guns recovered.

The State has since pressed more charges against the MRC founder in Kwale and Mombasa, including drug possession, illegal gun ownership and unauthorised fundraising, and hosting of unlawful meetings.

His close allies also face a host of charges in courts in Mombasa and Kwale.

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