Drama as Police Arrest 51 Children, 60 Women in ‘Church’ Taking an Oath to Join a 'Terror Group'
Police in Mombasa arrested 201 people among them 51 children and 60 women hiding in an old church building allegedly taking an oath to join the Mombasa Republican Council (MRC) that has since been branded a local terror group. This is according to the Thursday Standard. The daily reports that they had gathered to perform end-year rituals and initiate new members into the group through administration of an oath.
Jomvu police boss Alfred Nthiga told the Thursday standard that the suspects started to stream into the building in Mlironi area of Jomvu Sub-county at 6pm. At the time of their capture, according to Nthiga, they had already slaughtered a cow, and were smoking bhang. He also reported that ten of the men on that group have ongoing court cases linked to MRC and are out on bail.
"We were to arraign them today (yesterday) but courts are closed. We have 91 suspects of MRC in our custody. They were having an illegal meeting and smoking bhang. They had slaughtered a cow and were taking oath. Ten of the men arrested have pending cases in court linked to MRC and are out on bond. We were told the building is a church, but it did not bear a name of any denomination," said Mr. Alfred Nthiga to the Standard.
The Standard notes that on July 30, 2012, a three-judge bench ruled that MRC was legal. The group back then used to push for the independence of the coastal region with a viral slogan that said, “Mombasa si Kenya”.
However, contacted by the Standard, Mombasa Republican Council Secretary-General Randu Nzai said the suspects were government moles out to derail their agenda. He held that none of their members was arrested. Nzai asserted that this was a show put up by the government to silence them for good.
"Those arrested are not our members, I have made several calls and none of our members was arrested. This is the strategy being used by the State to ensure we do not speak in one voice," said Nzai.
Residents told the Standard that the group was spotted earlier in the day marching in Jomvu while chanting slogans associated with MRC. Their leader was riding a horse and upon arriving at a stage, they said some weird prayers then headed back.