MRCís threat escalates as it recruits children
Last updated on 20 Jun 2012 00:00
By Linah Benyawa and Joseph Masha
Mombasa Republican Council’s threat to security is getting more unsettling especially after it emerged it is recruiting children just like other infamous rebel movements.
The Standard gained exclusive access to identity cards issued to the young MRC recruits, whose rallying call is Pwani Si Kenya (Coast isn’t in Kenya), on enlistment with the outlawed group protesting at historical injustices such as post-independence land-grabbing.
The cards bearing recruits’ photographs and a court of arms of two crossed-swords were seized from newly inducted members found taking oath early yesterday at Walea in Kaloleni constituency.
They are under police detention and their arrest provides the most conclusive evidence of membership to MRC and also proves the group has spread beyond its Digo heartland in Kwale in spite of
Government threat. Police say the MRC’s high command is now trying to recruit and train members in dense cultural forests in Kilifi, Kwale, and Malindi.
From the names and places of origin it is possible to determine that the MRC members arrested come from Samburu, Miritini, Bamba, Bombolulu, Mikindani, and Bamburi areas of Mombasa, Kilifi, and Kwale counties.
The documents are issued after recruits, who increasingly now include primary and high school children, discard Kenyan national identity cards on the promise MRC will soon achieve the secession of the Coastal strip from Kenya.
That emerged as Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission reported new security threats and resistance to voter registration and education in Matuga, Kisauni, and Kilifi.
In Nairobi, the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) urged the Government to engage the MRC in dialogue for the sake of peaceful elections. NCIC chairman Mzalendo Kibunja warned MRC was rapidly growing and its demand for secession was resonating well with many indigenous people of the Coast. (See seperate story on page 12)