16 people were on Monday arraigned in court over alleged plans to form a separate government from the Kenyan one, with the title 'Singwaya Government'.

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The 17, among them an 88-year-old medicine man named Paul Mwaro Petro, were arraigned before a Mombasa court and charged with supporting the secession of the Coast region.

Senior Resident Magistrate Martin Rabera was told that they were arrested in Jomvu on December 27, allegedly endorsing the formation of the separate government.

However, they denied the charges. The police also alleged that they also caught them with four flags printed with words 'Singwaya government'.

The magistrate released them on Sh100,000 each, with the case set to be mentioned on January 13. However, by evening, they were yet to leave after failing to raise the bond.

During the case hearing, Mwaro engaged the magistrate in a heated argument, demanding to say what he wanted, though the judge only needed a yes or no to the charges.

He said that youths are being driven to illegal assemblies due to lack of employment, while the police are at the same time visiting their houses demanding for bribes.

“How can these youth stay without employment and whenever they get any form of work, the police go to their houses and demand bribes," he said.

The old man, who was allowed to take his plea while sitting, requested the judge to bar police officers from visiting homes of the youth.

"Yes, I have heard what you have said, but all those you will tell the presiding magistrate when the case comes up for hearing," replied the magistrate.

In 2014, Omar Mwamnuanzi and 11 other people were charged in a Nomabda court over associations with the Mombasa Republican Council.

The council, which was forked in 1999, was pushing for secession of the Coastal Region, terming it not part of the larger remaining part of Kenya.