Mombasa Republican Council now says it will only enter into dialogue with government after revocation of the gazette notice that outlawed the group.
The group has been agitating for the cessation of the Kenyan coastal strip through what they term as mistreatment by the government and an expiry of the treaty between the colonial Kenya and sultan of Hamoud about Mombasa being part of Kenya. "The issue of dialogue according to us is long overdue, we even wrote a letter to the two principals demanding dialogue but what they offered was terming the group outlawed through a gazette notice," said Randu Nzai, the MRC secretary general.
He said this in response to the government's decision to enter into dialogue with them, with the Provincial Commissioner Ernest Munyi, instructing Muslims for Human Rights to oversee the process. "There is no way an outlawed sect or group can enter into dialogue with the government, let them drop that title 'outlawed' and we sit down and talk," said Nzai.
Nzai has further absolved the group from any criminal activities at the coast as alleged by the government. "We cannot be likened to Mungiki as we don't kill, maim or engage in criminal activities. We are only after our rights as coastal people," he added.
Unemployment, land issue and marginalization of the indigenous coastal communities are the teething problems that have ailed the region since independence, according to the MRC. "I understand the plight of coastal people, there is land issue, marginalization and unemployment but riots and illegal meetings that lead to friction with police will not help," said Munyi amid booing from the angry youth.
At a peace meeting held in Likoni two days ago, Munyi asked them to abandon their guerrilla tactics of solving problems but instead follow the right protocol which is dialogue.
At the same meeting attended by various leaders drawn from government, political class and the civil society, area political leaders led by area MP Masoud Mwahima condemned the police brutality.
The meeting came two days after several youths believed to be members of the outlawed MRC were dispersed in likoni's Shika Adabu location last weekend.
Mwahima has also criticized the manner in which the administration police treated the Youths who were caught in at a meeting in the said area over the weekend.
He particularly pointed an accusing finger at Likoni district commissioner and security personnel in that area for whatever had happened over the weekend. "The district commissioner has failed us and I demand his immediate transfer since he doesn't have what it takes to combat the alleged insecurity we are talking about," said Mwahima. "Many meetings by the MRC have taken place in many parts of coast region with no one dying, how comes a person had to be killed in this one?" Posed Mwahima.
He urged the government to unconditionally release the innocent caught in the crossfire between MRC and police during the Sunday evening incidence.
Likoni district commissioner Lawrence Kinyua on his part maintained on his stance to deal with security problems affecting his area irrespective any criticism from any quarter. "With security matters and implementing the government policies we must stand firm as provincial administration," said Kinyua.
Also present at the peace meeting were Coast Provincial Police Officer Aggrey Adoli, National Cohesion and Integration commissioner Ahemed Yassir among other provincial administration officers.