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Raila - MRC: 'Denounce then we negotiate'

15 March 2012, 15:41 Joel Ngugi

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It is government policy to negotiate for a solution with any group of individuals including Mombasa Republic Council a group seeking the Coast province to be a state on itself and not part of Kenya.

This was put on record yesterday by Prime Minister Raila Odinga, but he made it clear that before any "engagement the MRC must renounce any criminal activities they have undertaken including dropping the demand of coast becoming an independent state."

In order to enhance the same Raila said that his office is preparing coastal consultative forum scheduled for June 2012 to hear grievances and concern of coastal people.

However the issue was quickly responded to by members of parliament who found it improper promoting a heated debate. Some members accused government of applying double standards when dealing with such groupings with hon.

Nyamweya MRC rep pointed out that mungiki and sabawot land defence who championed for similar issues were dealt with harshly "why engage some and leave others who agitate for the same issues like mungiki and sabawot?" But the premier was quick to state that the room for negotiation was open to all groupings but only if they stop criminal activities.

On the other hand other members argued that engaging such groupings will encourage more groups to be formed "engaging such group will see cropping up of similar groups in other regions of the country" hon duale claimed.

Responding to this Raila made it clear that political problems and issues requires political solutions however he warned that "no movement declaring part of the country as a separate state will be tolerated." as this violates constitution on territorial integrity.

Raila said that some issues raised by MRC has been solved by the new constitution through devolution which will ensure equitable distribution of resources and deal with marginalization, he further pointed out that land issue which is also been championed by them will be addressed by land policy and land bills which are to be debated by parliament soon further highlighting the continuous government effort to solve land problems in coast through continuous issuance of title deeds and cancellation of irregularly acquired ones.

Meanwhile he said that the MRC activities contravenes the constitution on territorial integrity and article 81 which deals with elections and electoral process as they are calling people from coast to boycott elections and it is due to these and other criminal activities that saw the minister of internal security and provincial administration declare Mombasa republic council a criminal group via Kenya gazette notice 12585 on 18th October 2010.

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