Party of Action leader Raphael Tuju on Thursday dismissed calls for talks with the outlawed Mombasa Republican Council.
He rejected proposals by Prime Minister Raila Odinga and his deputy Musalia Mudavadi for negotiations with the illegal group, which is demanding secession of Coast Province, saying they were misleading the country.
“MRC should be treated as illegal and dealt with. The government should protect investors. There are widespread historical injustices all over Kenya and coast should not be exceptional. It should not be reason for secession,” he said.
He accused the leaders of peddling lies about the group, adding the MRC’s demand for secession do not hold water and are a manifestation of anger due to frustration.
Mr Tuju insisted that the group’s demands arose from being sidelined for many years by successive regimes.
“When I annoy my young daughters they sometimes tell me that I am no longer their friend or dad. But that does not change the biological fact that I am their father. It’s the same with MRC. They do not mean that coast is not in Kenya because the fact is that coast is in Kenya,” he said.
He made the remarks at Sai Rock Beach Hotel in Mombasa where he addressed members of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants on the second day of their 28th annual seminar.
Opening the seminar a day earlier, Narc-Kenya leader Martha Karua appealed to MRC to drop their secession demand, saying the new Constitution would address their concerns.
At the same time, hoteliers on Thursday said the MRC was not a big threat to the tourism sector in the coast.
Leadway Resort general manager Hassan Faisal Ali said unless the problem degenerates to bloodshed, street battles, it did not pose a great danger to the sector.
“Their demands can be addressed and resolved without having to resort to secession. Land ownership, job opportunities, resource management and marginalisation can be tackled. I don’t think we can secede because the government is in control,” he said.
Coast Regional Business Association chairman Titus Kangangi said MRC was not a threat although if violence erupts, tourists would shun the region.
Mr Tuju said before the 2007 elections, several such groups erupted but were declared illegal and finally fizzled out.