But that is not the problem since all of the above are questions that need national interrogation for a lot of years, generations and water has since passed under the bridge of nationhood and an answer to any or all of these would mean different things to different interests.
Problem is the apparent double-speak that often obtains from government when in crisis or during election years. Sample this: When reading the State of the Nation speech, the President roundly condemned the MRC as a stateless outfit (by their pawn admission) that should not be given an ear. Prime Minister Raila Odinga seemed to echo this sentiment then.
Less than a month on, the PM appears to have mellowed and proposes some sort of accommodation. But seeing as he was on the campaign trail, we may understand the context of his remarks. However, similar accommodation comes from yet another presidential candidate Musalia Mudavadi and many other coastal elected and religious leaders. So, what has changed?
The Minister for Internal security swiftly hacks down any such pledges and vows to continue with a planned crackdown against MRC such as were conducted against other proscribed groups in the past like Mungiki, Sungusungu, Sabaot Land Defence Force, Angola Msumbiji, February Eighteen Movement, among many others.
However, come electioneering time, politicians of all shades and persuasions have found it difficult to stick to principle and keep a safe or respectable distance from groups that threaten public order in any way. We saw this cosy relationship in the run-up to the last general election as some well known politicians even embraced different faiths and took up elders’ mantles across communities for the sake of the anticipated vote count.
Which way should the rest of the country face? Are the MRC the voice of the Coastal Strip? Which part of government are they going to talk to? If so, when?