19 December 2012

Kenya: Separatist Group Disrupts Voter Listing

The Mombasa High Court yesterday postponed the ruling of a case in which the Mombasa Republican Council is challenging the March 4 elections. The highly anticipated ruling was pushed to Thursday because of  "a two-day power outage that made it impossible to print the ruling".

Justices Evans Mureithi, Francis Tuiyot and Richard Mwongo said a five-judge bench will proof-read and give the ruling. Hundreds of suspected MRC group members who had filled the court room and corridors broke into chants when informed them of the postponement.

The supporters marched from the Mombasa Law Courts into the streets of Mombasa chanting "Pwani Si Kenya" and "MRC high!". They disrupted voter registration and attacked IEBC clerks at Kizingo's Mombasa Primary School. IEBC commissioner in charge of Mombasa Island, Frank Mwalenga, said a group of MRC supporters stormed the centre and forced the clerks to flee to safety. "The clerks had to flee for their lives and took refuge at a nearby mosque," said Mwalenga.

Nobody was injured in the 1.30pm incident. The group's spokesman Rashid Mraja unsuccessfully appealed to the supporters to restrain from violence. Mraja said he has not registered as a voter and was optimistic the MRC would win the case that aims to stop the IEBC from conducting elections in the Coast region.

Coast police boss Aggrey Adoli said the group has cast its operations to other parts of the region where they are undergoing recruitment. "We are aware that the group is conducting training in parts of Kisauni where we gunned down three of its affiliated Nyuki group and recovered weapons," Adoli said.

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