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Coast Muslim leaders react to Police Boss

24 April 2012, 15:39 Alloys Musyoka

Muslim leaders in Malindi have cautioned government officers against utterances that could spark violence between different communities living in the Coastal region.

The leaders said the government leaders should not use the issue of the outlawed Mombasa Republican Council to divide communities in the region on tribal, religious and racial lines.

Led by Famau Mohamed Famu a renowned anti-narcotic drugs crusader they condemned recent utterances by Kilifi Deputy Police Boss Maurice Musonye, warning Mijikenda communities against being misused by Swahili and Arabs to support MRC.

“We vehemently condemn recent utterances by Kilifi District Deputy Police Boss Maurice Musonye which has led to investigations by security agents on reports that members of Arabs and Swahili communities are funding the outlawed secessionist group, such utterances amounts to hate speech,” noted Famau.

He said such utterances amounted to hate speech which should not be taken lightly as the country approaches election date calling the officer to resign or be sacked.

Famau who is a member of Swahili community said the officers’ utterance targeted to alienate the Swahili and Arabs in the region stating that such case can spark violence among the communities living in the area.

“As we approach the General Elections, all leaders including civil servants should be preaching peace and reconciliation instead of alienating certain communities from others,” he addressed journalists in Malindi.

Famau dismissed claims that Swahilis and Arabs were funding the group that has been demanding secession of the Coast region from the rest of Kenya, arguing that the region was not a colony of the British, but a protectorate.

“These are rumors and I want to assure the general public as well as the government that neither Swahili nor Arabs communities are funding secessionist group in the Coast province and such issue should be treated as rumors meant to divide people,’ he noted.

The government officer was quoted by a Kiswahili daily newspaper telling the Mijikenda not to be misused by the Swahili and Arabs to support the MRC, saying some individuals were out to misuse the community in order to remain in leadership.

In the story that appeared on April 14, 2012, Musonye was quoted as saying: “It is possible that some members of the Arab and Swahili communities fear competition from up country people and Somalis and they are doing everything to counter this by sponsoring the illegal group.

“I urge the Mijikenda not to allow themselves to be misused by greedy and wayward people out to exploit their poverty for their political and economic gains.”

Musonye however denied any ill motive in his utterances, saying he had only cautioned communities against supporting illegal groups such as the MRC and was not targeting any community for alienation.

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