By Jerry Okungu
October 15, 2012
Hon Sheikh Dor is an honorable man. He is a member of parliament of the Republic of Kenya. He is not in that parliament courtesy of his massive following in the coast. No, he is in the august house at the pleasure of the ODM party that nominated him in 2008.
Now honorable Dor has launched his own party and declared support for the Mombasa Republican Council, an armed outfit that has amassed guns and grenades to fight the Government of Kenya. A gun fight on Monday morning at the home of the MRC leader told it all. The leader’s bodyguards had the audacity to barricade a street to their leader’s home ostensibly to obstruct justice. Furthermore, they were armed to the teeth and in the ensuing gun fire; two people lay dead with scores injured.
This is the group that a learned cleric and a law maker of Dor’s caliber feels has the legitimate right to exercise its rights despite its clearly spelt out mandate- to hive a part of Kenya for its own selfish gains.
The situation at the coast is not helped by deranged rights activists that are fond of shooting their mouths and aiming later. A foolish man in this day and age can challenge the legitimacy of a government and even give the government a 14 day ultimatum to succumb to its demands or else the idiot goes on the streets to demonstrate!
Did these people not see the President of Kenya giving them his sternest warnings to date? Didn’t they hear President telling that they are foolish and not fit to be Kenyans and that they belong in hell? Now, when a Head of State and Commander in Chief of Kenyan Defense Forces talks like that, only a fool would dare defy him. If you doubt me, ask the Al Shabaabs in Kismayu and other militia groups that have from time to time taunted Kenyans.
I sometimes wonder whether some leaders in the coast and their rights activists live in the real world; because if they did, they would have learnt from history right here at home. They would have remembered that the Shifta militia tried to run away with Kenya’s Northern Frontier District in the early days of independence. They would have remembered that the Mt. Elgon militia tried a similar thing in the last decade. They would have remembered that Kenya’s Defence Forces are still in Somalia to deal with violent insurgents in that country. In all the three cases, separatists never succeeded.
Hon Sheik Dor may have the cash or wealthy friends to finance a fanatical group bent of dismembering Kenya. I guess it is his right to do so under the Kenyan constitution. However, all he needs to remember is that these rights that are touted by Tom, Dick and Harry are never absolute anywhere in the world. No one has the right to chop the hands of another in broad day light. Other Kenyans, Muslim or not have their rights too protected by the same constitution.
These rights can never be realized meaningfully through violence. Violence only succeeds in the law of the jungle where the strongest may survive.
We are a modern and civilized state with a judicial and parliamentary process that works. We have an elected government that swore to protect the constitution, the lives and property of all its citizens. This government is not in the business of standing by as hooligans masquerading as human rights groups and religious clerics cause chaos in our society. It is the reason that the law must be allowed to deal with these elements ruthlessly and without mercy.
In a civilized democracy, Sheikh Dor would have resigned from parliament and the party that nominated him to parliament because no matter how one tries to justify his actions, he is obviously no longer in sync with the ODM party in more ways than one. Openly offering to support the MRC financially can only point to one thing; that he is an active member of the MRC and believer in their doctrine of separatism.
There is something that President Museveni did to armed thugs in Kampala in the early 1990s that should be useful to the Kenya government when it comes to fighting armed militia groups.
At the height of armed robbers in Kampala, Museveni declared that any Ugandan found with arms without authority of the state must be treated as an enemy of the state. The people to deal with such characters would be the armed military because such thugs were no longer considered civilians. He went on to clarify that in his understanding, only the military, the police and licensed private guards had the right to carry arms at all times. Anybody else with a gun would be subject to military action by the military. Such people would be shot on sight without recourse to the law courts and human rights litigations. In Museveni’s mind, an armed thug had no rights to be respected because he respected no other peoples’ rights.
Finally, there is one thing that the MRC and Sheikh Dor need to know. Kenyans are very peaceful people however, when it comes to patriotism and fighting for the sovereignty of their land including the coast strip, they will defend their country with all their might, religious zealots notwithstanding. And Kenyans with foreign ideologies or extractions that live in the coast had better appreciate this simple truth.
Yes, the coast may have the majority Muslims but it is a part of Kenya that is 80% Christian. That 80% prefers one united Kenya that includes the coastal strip.
If you don’t like it; take a walk as President Kibaki told you last Friday