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"Mungiki has been demonised and misunderstood"

("Daily Nation," November 28, 2001)

What are these Mungiki? It has been branded "a sect", maybe "a cult", and now "a cartel". What wrong have its supporters done to warrant the harassment being meted out to them now?
The Government's security apparatus may want to answer these questions. But we know they will simply say the Mungiki are just a bunch of hooligans who are a security threat.
The Mungiki have announced an intention to field candidates (presumably parliamentary and presidential). Don't they have any constitutional rights, say, to any form of freedom and aren't these freedoms guaranteed?
While Prof Yash Ghai and his team are trying to come up with a new constitution, are we operating without any? What happened to the old one ?
The authorities, through the police, have started a ruthless crackdown on followers and/or supporters of the Mungiki. More than 200 members have already been arrested for saying they intend to take over matatu routes to create employment for the many unemployed young men. Is this not a noble task aimed at ultimately reducing poverty and insecurity?
We are told that those who have evaded arrest have gone "underground". Here, it is important `to know what we may be creating through the crackdown. It would seem there is more to this problem than meets the eye.
We call upon our eminent heads of mainstream churches to take up this sensitive issue with the authorities to avert a recurrence of the infamous 1992 and 1997 ethnic clashes.
It is one very difficult act to destroy or kill a person. The normal practice is to demonise them and then crack down on them. Now, it would seem the Mungiki monster is being prepared for this fate. Why has rival group (Kamjesh) received police protection, while the Mungiki have been labelled the aggressor?
C. M. KARIGI, Nairobi.

"Court Summons Police Chief Over Mungiki Man's Arrest"

by Eliud Chisika ("The East African Standard," November 23, 2001)

The Commissioner of Police has been summoned to appear before court next Monday over the unlawful detention of Mungiki sect national co-ordinator Mr.
Ndura Waruingi
The order was issued yesterday by High Court judge Justice Gideon Mbito. The affidavit was sworn by Waruingi's wife Mrs. Selina Muthoni Waruingi.
Police Commissioner Mr Philemon Abong'o has been asked to appear before court in person or through a duly instructed advocate "with the original warrant or order for the detention of Waruingi"
Waruingi was arrested last week by police over the sect's contentious occupation of matatu terminus in various parts of the city. The arrest came after Waruingi and other officials of the unregistered sect defied a police order for its members to vacate termini on city matatu routes.
The order further asked the commissioner of police to produce Waruingi in court on Monday. The Attorney General and the Director of CID have also been served with a similar order.
In applying for the affidavit, Waruingi's wife argued that police had failed to produce him before a court of law for.
She said during the arrest, she was not informed which police station he was taken to.
She added that plainclothes officers further searched their residence in Ngong and illegally confiscated documents.
"My efforts to trace his whereabouts have been fruitless," she said in her affidavit.
"To date, no charges have been preferred against my husband," she added.
She contended that the arrest of her husband is unlawful and it was executed without a warrant. She said Waruingi's constitutional rights to a fair trial had been violated and this would affect his health.
Police confiscated among others photographs of Mungiki members, press statements and copies of booklets on the Goldenberg case.

"Crackdown on Religious Sect"

(MISNA, November 22, 2001)

Kenyan police arrested over 100 followers of the Mungiki religious sect, an outlawed religious group reorganised as a political party. Among the arrested was the sect leader Ibrahim Ndura Wariunge, who will be charged with various offences after issuing a statement declaring the alleged presence of former soldiers and police in the sect. Already last Tuesday the police searched Wariunge's home, situated just outside of Nairobi, in search of weapons and propaganda material related to the sect. Last month a violent clash broke out in the centre of Nairobi between client seekers of the 'matatus' (local minibuses, which represent the main means of public transport in Sub-Saharan Africa) and Mungiki followers, resulting in 6 dead and numerous injured. The violence broke out in a dispute over control of certain central areas of the capital. According to international press sources, the sect was formed in the 80's. The leaders of the sect claim some 4-millon followers, while MISNA sources say that the group counts on a few thousand members. Kenyan authorities say it is a criminal group.

Mungiki Movement (Kenya) Updates 2001

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