The Star (Nairobi)

2 February 2013

Kenya: MRC Is Not a Threat to Elections - IEBC Officer

THE Mombasa Republican Council is not a threat to the March 4 general election, an electoral official has said.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission South Coast regional coordinator Amina Soud yesterday termed the group as "harmless" and will not threaten the electoral process.

Speaking at Matuga where she was supervising the returning process by Kwale aspirants, Soud said there is no need for panic among residents and IEBC officials.

IEBC officials had previously been warned by the MRC against carrying out any electoral activities in the region.

During the voter registration, IEBC clerks received messages warning them against registering residents of Kwale which is perceived as the group's stronghold.

The group has called on residents to boycott the elections.Last year, suspected MRC members disrupted mock elections at St Andrew's School in Malindi where a police officer was injured and his gun stolen.

They were also linked with an attack on IEBC officials conducting civic education at Chonyi.Their vehicle and voting materials were burnt.

The group was later said to have raided an AP camp in Kaloleni, killed a police officer in Likoni and stole his gun.In Msambweni, Kwale, two security guards were killed by suspected MRC members.

The IEBC and Yehu micro-financers offices were broken into and two laptops stolen.MRC has been agitating for the secession of the Coast region from Kenya citing historical injustices.

IEBC chairman Isaac Hassan had previously termed the group a threat leading to several warnings from the government including Justice minister Eugene Wamalwa.

The group's move to plant its members in the electoral process to sabotage voter registration aborted after IEBC dismissed the imposing clerks.

MRC then moved to court to challenge IEBC against conducting elections at the coast.

A High Court ruled in December that MRC is unlawful therefore lacks legal standing to challenge the IEBC and eight other respondents in court.

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