By Samwel Ndalusia,
November 4th, 2017,
Coast Region leaders led by the Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho and his Kilifi County counterpart Governor Amason Kingi, 12 MPs and 4 senators have threatened to initiate secession talks stating that they will use legal means to achieve the separation.
The leaders were speaking to the media at a National Resistance Movement (NRM) launch in Mombasa on Friday, November 3, whereby they claimed that the region has been marginalized by the current and past governments, and hence their main motivation to secede from the rest of the country.
“If people decide to ignore our voices we must look for another way for our voices to be heard. As you all know, the past governments and the Jubilee administration have refused to listen to the voice of the coastal people,” said Governor Joho, adding that the journey to realize secession for the coastal people had just begun. “This is just but the beginning of a consultative process that will involve a broad network of people to be able to realize our dream,” he continued.
On his part, the Kilifi County Governor Amason Kingi explained that they would involve the coastal region people in the secession talks. “We have decided that we are going to engage the Coastal people and get their views on the same,” he said.
To understand CREXIT, we first need to know what Brexit is; Brexit is a portmanteau of the words “Britain” and “exit,” being the nickname for a British exit from the European Union after the June 23 referendum asking voters: “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?”
Just like Brexit, CREXIT is portmanteau of the words “Coast Region” and “Exit” and stands for an abbreviation for the coastal region exit from the rest of the Republic of Kenya whereas they will be a referendum asking the coastal people: Should the Coastal region remain a part of the Republic of Kenya or leave the Republic of Kenya?”
According to Investopedia, the Brexit vote’s result defied expectations and roiled global markets, causing the British pound to fall to its lowest level against the dollar in 30 years. Prime Minister David Cameron, who called the referendum and campaigned for Britain to remain in the EU, resigned the following month.
While CREXIT may cause the value of the Kenyan shilling to fall even further from its current low level against the United States Dollar, President Uhuru Kenyatta who would probably campaign for the region to remain in the republic of Kenya wouldn’t dare resign like the British Prime Minister and pave way for a caretaker government and a subsequent snap election.
Mombasa Republican Council (MRC)
Meanwhile, a separatist group, Mombasa Republican Council (MRC) based in the coastal city of Mombasa has dismissed the calls for secession by a section of the coast region leaders claiming that the move is based on selfish political interests and does not represent the aspirations of the residents of the six coastal counties.
“If at all they were honest people, they should have come out and joined us when MRC started. These are the same people who fought us and told us that we wanted to stir chaos in the region,” said the MRC spokesman Rashid Mraja told at a press conference on Friday, asking: “Why did they have to wait until it is politically convenient for them?”
Mr. Mraja urged the leaders calling for secession to seek legal and constitutional means in their quest, but more importantly, he said the idea should not be forced down the throats of people living at the coast.
The Kenyan government in 2012 through the then Interior Minister the late Prof George Saitoti declared MRC to be an illegal organization. MRC, however, contested the government’s decision in high court which lifted the ban and ruled that it was unconstitutional to claim the group was illegal. The group had demanded Mombasa to secede from Kenya to become an independent state arguing that secession would liberate the people of the coast province from marginalization by the successive governments in Kenya.
“Coastal people will not accept to secede as far as the political destiny of this nation is concerned. We, if need be, shall follow legal means and we want to challenge the political leaders seeking that path to go to court and battle it out in courtrooms,” added Mraja on Friday, November 3.