A certain political party is financing the outlawed Mungiki sect, Narc presidential candidate Mwai Kibaki said yesterday.
He said the party, which he did not name, had bought senior officials of the sect vehicles and rented them houses in plush neighbourhoods in Nairobi.
"This party has been collaborating with Mungiki bosses, buying them cars, employing drivers and aides for them and housing them in posh suburbs of Nairobi," Mr Kibaki said.
He was responding to questions from journalists during a press conference in his Muthaiga home in Nairobi.
The Mungiki sect was outlawed earlier this year by the Commissioner of Police but has been active on the political front.
Elsewhere, the Laikipia West parliamentary candidate on a Safina ticket, Ms Alice Wachihi, appealed to police to check the sect's activities.
Ms Wachihi said: "Most people are concerned about Mungiki's activities. They have caused fear, especially among women voters. It may affect the turnout at the elections and the police should investigate this."
The candidate, faces Mr Ndegwa Muruthi (Kanu) and veteran politician Mr G.G Kariuki (Narc).
Ms Wachihi said she supported Mr Kibaki for the presidential seat.
Police in Kiambu have arrested two people following an orgy of violence that left two people dead on Monday afternoon.
Central Provincial Police Officer (PPO), Mr Enock Chesereck, said the two suspected to be members of the unregistered Mungiki sect were arrested at a hide-out at Karia village in Githunguri.
At the same time the PPO said security has been intensified in the division to ensure that such an incident does not occur again.
He said security will be intensified during the burial of the two victims of Monday?s incident.
Two people were killed on Monday afternoon and at least seven houses burnt when a group of suspected Mungiki sect members raided Karia village during the funeral of one of their member.
Meanwhile, residents of Nyahururu town yesterday expressed outrage following the Sunday night shooting of a 22-year old man by police.
The residents accused the law enforcers of harassment and extortion during their night patrols in the town.
Mr David Ngure Makara, who owns a video cafe at Mwireri estate was critically injured and his right arm amputated when three police officers opened fire at him on Sunday.
Two people were killed and at least seven houses burnt when members of the banned Mungiki sect rampaged through a village during the funeral of a sect follower.
Farm animals were also slaughtered and shops raided when the followers, arriving for the burial, attacked anyone in sight without provocation.
The raid on Karia Village in Githunguri was in revenge for the death of the youth they had come to bury.
Administration Policemen shot dead one of the mob after the gang hacked to death a carpenter, Mr Lucas Kihiu Wahogo, at his workshop.
The Mungiki raiders were on their way to bury 17-year-old Joseph Kuria Ndung'u who had been killed by Karia villagers during an earlier raid when they cornered him then stoned him to death before burning his body.
The Mungiki men had then vowed to wipe out everyone in the village, witnesses said.
Trouble started yesterday when about 500 Mungiki followers were driven into the village on their way to the funeral, planned at nearby Gitito, the home of the youth's father.
The hearse was escorted by Mungiki members in two buses, five minibuses, more than 15 commuter taxis (matatus) and several other vehicles.
His family, which had prepared for the burial, was waiting for the body to arrive when chaos broke out.
As the cortege pulled into the village, the followers leapt out of the vehicles brandishing swords, machettes, pick-axes and clubs and descended on Karia trading centre.
Without provocation, they set upon the unsuspecting villagers before looting shops.
They slashed and bludgeoned anyone in sight and destroyed an unknown amount of property.
Seventeen-year-old Janet Wanjira who was at her home was hit on the head with a piece of wood, collapsed and was taken unconscious to Karia Mama Ngina Health Centre before being transferred to Kiambu district hospital.
The Mungiki man who was shot was carried away by his colleagues who put him in one of their vehicles.
The hour-long reign of terror ended only when Administration Police repulsed the raiders who regrouped and drove off for the burial.
At Gitito, the service was conducted according to Mungiki rites as police stood watch at access roads and at the market centre.
While the burial was taking place, some of the raiders who had infiltrated the village started setting houses ablaze, looting property and causing mayhem.
Villagers ran from their homes and hid in adjoining coffee plantations.
"They killed my brother's cows and stole all household items before burning his house," one terrified resident said.
"The violence brings to mind the gangs which used to roam the entire district in groups of 50 or a 100 terrorising residents just before the 1997 elections," another terrified resident said.
Police who were told of the attack and who could see smoke rising from the burning homes dismissed reports of the raid, saying the smoke was from charcoal burners.
The Mungiki youths had entered the village singing traditional war songs before running amok, attacking anyone in sight, torching houses and killing farm animals.
They threatened to wipe out all the residents to avenge the death of their colleague who was killed by villagers themselves avenging an earlier Mungiki attack.
The series of raids began two weeks ago when Mungiki youths attacked revellers at midnight in a local bar, using machettes and clubs, injuring eight of them. Two of the injured are still recovering in hospital from deep cuts.
Three days after that attack, 20 sect followers who are well known to the villagers since they come from the same area, began another indiscriminate attack on the villagers.
One of them ? the 17-year-old they buried yesterday - was then killed by outraged villagers .
Witnesses said the group then swore to wipe out everybody in the village.
The two deaths yesterday were confirmed by Kiambu CID boss Paul Ndambuki.
Kiambu police boss Atanasius Munyagia said the Mungiki attackers now lived in Nairobi. Last week he had arranged to ambush them but the villagers he had lined up to help identify them arrived armed to the teeth and he had to postpone the ambush.
Forty-Two suspected Mungiki sect followers who allegedly gouged out a man's eyes and cut off his hand were yesterday charged in court with attempted murder.
The sect members appeared before Nairobi Chief Magistrate, Boaz Olao charged with attempting to murder John Nderitu Gichuhi on November 19, at Mountain View Estate, Kasarani.
The accused, among them two women, were also charged with maliciously damaging property belonging to 70-year-old Gichuhi Kimira on the same day in the estate.
David Mwangi Kuria, Geoffrey Guchu Muiruri, Kavochi Kamau Murigu, Peris Njeri Chege, Simon Kimani Mwangi, Gichuru Mwangi Maina and Kagui Wanyata Ndichu are alleged to be among those who destroyed Kimira's Sh6.5 million worth of property.
Others alleged to have destroyed 13 acres of coffee, maize, perimeter fence and trees are Francis Kanyi, John Ngugi Kanyua, Gichanga Kariuki, Joel Mburu and Christopher Maina, among others.
Scores of people were yesterday arrested as a major crackdown on members of unlawful Mungiki sect continued in Kirinyaga district.
Armed police raided Ngurumbani bus stage at noon and bundled suspected sect followers into a government pickup truck.
Those arrested were whisked away and locked up at Wang'uru police station for interrogation.
In the last three weeks Mungiki men have been forcibly manning various bus stages in the district and threatening to take over privately owned rice mills.
Police said criminal charges would be preferred against the suspects.
During Kenyatta Day celebrations the local district commissioner Mr Wilfred Ndolo said more than 91 suspected Mungiki men had been arrested.
He said the operation would continue until all the sect followers were arrested as their activities were illegal.
A claim by Opposition MPs that the Mungiki sect is a Government department caused uproar in the House yesterday.
Members of the outlawed sect enjoyed protection from the government despite their involvement in unlawful activities, the MPs said.
The allegation sparked outrage from the government side, which accused the Opposition of trivialising the Mungiki issue.
Office of the President Minister Julius Sunkuli invited the wrath of the opposition when he said the outlawed sect was on the payroll of the Opposition.
The heated debate was prompted by Mr Karue Muriuki (Ol Kalou, DP) who wanted to know what action the police had taken against members of the sect who had attempted to circumcise women in Silibwet area of his constituency. He said members of the sect had also tried to impose a fee on every vehicle in the area carrying food produce.
Area residents resisted the move and as a result, a person was killed, the MP said adding that the sect's adherents had sworn they would kill 20 people in revenge.
Mrs Beth Mugo (Dagoretti, SDP) asked the government to take the issue seriously as the group had been known to carry out such threats in the past. She said women were living in fear of being forcibly circumcised.
Mr Matu Wamae (Mathira, DP) wondered why the government entertained the activities of the sect when it was banned while Mr David Mwenje (Embakasi, DP) questioned why no action was taken against members of the sect who recently held a demonstration in the city in support of Kanu's presidential nominee Uhuru Kenyatta.
Mr Njehu Gatabaki (Githunguri, SDP) asked the government to be ruthless on the sect.
Mr Sunkuli said the sect remained outlawed, but said its members were known to vote for members of the opposition.
The minister said the skirmishes in the Silibwet area arose from a dispute over a fee imposed by potato middle-men but which was rejected by farmers and transporters.
As a result, one person died while undergoing treatment at the Nyahururu Hospital. Patrols had been intensified in the area to prevent further skirmishes, he said.
Three people were killed in an orgy of violence in Nyahururu and Othaya said to have been orchestrated by members of the outlawed Mungiki sect. Two of the victims were reportedly killed during a confrontation at Baumann in Nyahururu after the sect members demanded extra "cess" payment from potato traders and matatus [commuter vehicles].
The third was hacked to death when about 100 Mungiki members who had gone to collect the body of a colleague from the Nyeri Provincial General Hospital Mortuary went on the rampage, beating everyone in sight and damaging vehicles.
In the Nyahururu incident, wananchi revolted on Wednesday against sect members who have been collecting a Sh100 fee from each vehicle transporting potatoes to the market and matatus plying the route.
They doubled the fee without warning and erected road checks in Baumann, Mung'etho, Huhoini, Kagwara and Gathanje areas, where transporters and brokers were forced to pay Sh200 for each lorry leaving the farms.
Violence erupted after some people contested the raised charges.
One of the sect members was reportedly killed during fighting at Baumann trading centre, where the Mungiki group was said to have set upon everyone in sight. They reportedly slashed people with simis before they were repulsed.
Some 22 suspected Mungiki sect members have been arrested for allegedly plotting a massacre in the sprawling Nairobi Korogocho slums.
Police also seized several machettes, clubs and metal bars on Tuesday night.
Nairobi provincial police chief Stephen Kimenchu yesterday said officers on patrol bumped into the suspects identifying the houses they planned to attack.
"The 21-man gang was led by a woman. Investigations reveal they were planning to commit a massacre," he told a press conference at Nairobi provincial police headquarters.
The suspects will be taken to court today.
The arrests were made two days after two people were killed and others injured in an attack linked to political violence in Mathare slums, also in Nairobi last weekend.
Dozens of people, victims of the Mathare attack, are admitted to Kenyatta National Hospital with deep wounds.
Mr Kimenchu however said none of the 22 was linked to the weekend killings.
Said he: "Most of the victims in hospitals have deep wounds on their heads. It appears implements similar to those seized in Korogocho were used in the Mathare attacks."
Mr Kimenchu said tension was high in Korogocho and Mathare areas, adding; "There is a heavy police presence in the areas to guard against recurrence of violence."
Police fired in the air and lobbed tear gas canisters yesterday to disperse hundreds of armed youths who were hunting down suspected Mungiki adherents who killed two people in Nyeri.
Business came to a standstill in Othaya town as apprehensive residents fled the area fearing a violent confrontation between the youths and adherents of the outlawed Mungiki movement.
And bloodshed was averted when a combined force of Flying Squad, regular and Administration Police officers confronted the youths as they attempted to storm the home of a local parliamentary aspirant.
They accused the aspirant, Mr John Wang'ondu who is vying for the Othaya seat on a Kanu ticket of harbouring the killers.
During the Monday incident, a gang believed to comprise Mungiki followers, attacked people at the town's bus stage, killing two and injuring eight others.
The Mungiki adherents were allegedly avenging the burning of a banner advertising Cabinet Minister Uhuru Kenyatta's presidential bid.
Yesterday, the aspirant's home was turned into a battle field as the stone throwing youths resisted police attempts to prevent them from accomplishing their mission.
Gunshots rent the air and teargas spiralled at the scene of the confrontation as frightened residents fled their homes. Workers at the home of the aspirant, who was said to be away, scampered for safety.
The police led by Nyeri police boss Henry Barmao and acting Criminal Investigations Department boss William Kosgey overpowered the invaders who fled into nearby coffee and maize plantations.
Earlier, the youths had told local District Officer Michael Yator that the Mungiki followers lived amongst them and were well known. They accused police of complicity, saying some of those arrested after the Monday incident had been freed.
However, Mr Yator echoed Nyeri police boss Henry Barmao's earlier remarks that the killers were not Mungiki members.
"You should not say anything you cannot prove," he told them. The DO defended Mr Wang'ondu against the accusations, and warned the vigilantes not to associate the Monday violence with the Uhuru-for-President campaign.
He convinced the youth to disperse, but they later regrouped and attempted to storm Mr Wang'ondu's home.
Shops in Othaya remained closed as as police kept vigil at Mr Wang'ondu's home throughout yesterday.
Meanwhile, national officials of the banned sect yesterday maintained they were not involved in the Nairobi and the Othaya violence in which four people died.
They also reaffirmed their support for President Moi's choice of successor Uhuru Kenyatta stating they preferred him by virtue of his age compared to other presidential candidates.
They instead shifted blame to Rainbow Alliance supporters, accusing them of the killings in the Mathare slum violence on Sunday. The killings followed a huge Rainbow rally at Nairobi's Uhuru Park.
Co-ordinator Ndura Waruinge told pressmen in Nairobi that touts involved in the Othaya violence were not Mungiki members.
In his reaction to Cabinet Minister Mr Raila Odinga's claim that Mungiki members carried out the killings in Nairobi, he alleged that the minister supported the group involved in attacking residents at the slum.
He said plans were afoot to commit crime in the city and later blame it on the sect.
Mr Waruinge also urged police to maintain law and order in the electioneering period saying it was their duty to protect the lives of all Kenyans.
"Let us not be depicted as criminals owing to our political stand. We are a peaceful people," he said.
Mr Waruinge claimed the media and specifically the Daily Nation was biased in reporting about the sect.
Two people died after night-long skirmishes between two rival groups within Mathare slums.
The two people were hacked to death with pangas, axes and other crude weapons by a rival gang believed to be Mungiki sect members that confronted them as they marched home from Sunday's Rainbow Alliance rally at Uhuru Park.
The dead were fished out of the filthy Nairobi River by police and the bodies transferred to the City Mortuary awaiting post mortem examination.
Several others were rushed to Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) by St John's Ambulance personnel who were called to take the injured to hospital.
Twenty-eight-year old welding engineer, Raphael Oyando Odero narrowly escaped death but sustained serious injuries when he met the gang. He sustained deep cuts in the head and arms but was rushed to a clinic by good Samaritans.
Odero said that he was going to the shop when he was confronted by the group which asked him to identify himself. "They suddenly attacked me with pangas, axes, rungus and other crude weapons. I tried to block the blows but they chopped my hands," narrated Odero at the Geomayogo Medical Clinic and Maternity in Mathare Area 4A.
Heavily-armed police officers led by Nairobi Provincial Police Officer, Stephen Kimenchu, Provincial CID boss, Gabriel Mutunga and the deputy Kasarani Police boss, Ongere Sagala rushed to the area and quickly restored order.
According to a source within the depot which borders the slum, a gang from Kosovo slum area confronted a group returning home after the rally, hacking anyone on sight.
Police Commissioner, Philemon Abong'o confirmed that two people died and seven others were seriously injured. He revealed that police were deployed to the area immediately and arrested three of the assailants. The rest managed to escape the police dragnet.
Meanwhile, reports reaching us yesterday evening indicate that a man was killed and four others were left in critical condition. This was after a gang raided Othaya matatu terminus yesterday morning.
Francis Muturi Ngunjiri, aged 37, died at Nyeri Provincial General Hospital where he had been taken after the attack that occurred at 9 am.
He had sustained deep panga cuts on the head and a stab wound through the ribs.
Others who are admitted at the same hospital in critical condition were identified as Gerald Waweru Gatuguta, Patrick Mwangi and Owen Taiti.
Several other victims who sustained injuries were treated and discharged at the Othaya Health Centre.
Seventy-two members of the banned Mungiki sect who engaged police in running battles as they were being cleared out of bus stages and routes yesterday appeared in a Kerugoya court charged with touting.
They were charged that they were found touting for the purpose of obtaining passengers for matatus (commuter taxis).
They allegedly made noise and behaved in a manner likely to cause inconvenience and annoyance to the public.
They were said to have committed the offence along Mwea-Embu road in Kirinyaga District.
There was tension as the accused persons who spotted dreadlocks were brought to court under tight security.
Police cocked their guns outside the courtroom as the charge was read to the sect followers.
They denied the charge before the Principal Magistrate Mr Nyaga Njagi and were remanded in custody until today when the court will review their bail application.
Meanwhile, 68 land brokers have appeared in the same court charged with defrauding residents of their farms and obtaining money by false pretence.
When they appeared in court between April 2000 and August this year, they denied the charges.
Some have been released on Sh100,000 bond with a surety of the same amount, while others are out on Sh500,000 bond pending the hearing and determination of their cases.
Local residents had complained that the land brokers, most who are not registered had swindled them of their lands.
In the last five years, 20 families in Kirinyaga have been evicted after their lands were sold through shady deals.
Scores of Mungiki sect followers were yesterday injured in a fierce battle with the police.
Chaos started when armed police raided bus terminuses in Kirinyaga District to clear out members of the banned sect who had taken control of matatu (commuter taxi) routes.
The sect adherents, who were armed with clubs and other weapons, resisted the move and the security men clobbered and kicked them during the 1pm incident. Hawkers at Ngurubani market abandoned their goods and fled as the police engaged the gang in running battles.
The police overpowered the group and bundled several of them into a waiting lorry. They were locked up at Kerugoya police station.
Police said that the group's leader, a son of a local tycoon, escaped arrest and was being pursued.
Last week, the sect followers beat up touts manning bus terminals and took control of all the routes in the district.
A security officer was seriously injured when police went to stop the fight.
In the past week, passengers have complained of harassment by the Mungiki gangs. Local police boss Simiyu Wasige said police will not allow Mungiki to threaten the peace.
In Kiambu, two people were seriously injured by a group of club-wielding touts who took charge of the town's matatu terminus yesterday.
Patrick Mwaura and Peter Mbugua were admitted to Kiambu district hospital with serious head and body injuries.
Police sources said that four people had been arrested in connection with the early morning violence and they would be taken to court. "Two of them are touts manning the matatu terminal," the source said.
Trouble started when some matatu owners defied an arrangement agreed with the provincial administration and the council about an orderly method of running the business in the town.
Last month, the Kiambu municipal council, local DC Chelimo Cheboi and a group of matatu owners made sweeping changes to matatu routes which were not well received by a rival group.
The changes included queuing of vehicles at various terminuses and payment of Sh200 a day to parking attendants.
The council has since recorded a 400 per cent increase in revenue collection. A matatu owner, Mr Chris Ng'ang'a, said the businessmen were not party to the agreement.
Four members of the banned Mungiki sect were yesterday arrested for barricading the Embu-Makutano road in Kirinyaga.
Several others escaped when police swooped on more than 60 Mungiki members who had taken control of the route at the Ngurumbani bus stage.
The group barricaded the road and blocked Neno Transporters vehicles from plying the route, but only allowed Kukena Transporters to operate.
Neno drivers resisted the onslaught and a scuffle ensued.
Traders in Ngurumbani town closed their businesses as the battle pitched. Police intervened to restore calm.
Local police boss Simiyu Wasike said those arrested would be released on police bond pending charges in court.
Meanwhile, a meeting between the Transport Licensing Board and Mombasa matatu (commuter taxi) operator's yesterday failed to agree on licensing procedures.
The transporters' spokesman, Mr Ali Bates, said the centralisation of offices for issuance of licences made the authorisation procedures cumbersome and most matatu owners opted to operate without papers.
Speaking at the Koblenz Hall in Mombasa, Mr Bates called for decentralisation of the services to relieve the transporters of the burden of queuing for many hours during the board's visits in various areas.
Application forms should be dispensed at Kenya Revenue Authority offices to make it easy for transporters to obtain them.
The board's acting chairman, Mr Hassan ole Kamwaro, urged the stakeholders to help solve the problems facing the transport industry.
Police have arrested four members of the banned Mungiki sect suspected to be administering oaths in Laikipia District.
Residents of Ng'arua division in the district had complained that many of them were being forced to take the oath binding them to the Mungiki ideals and practices.
They were also allegedly being forced to promise "not to betray" Cabinet minister Uhuru Kenyatta, President Moi's preferred heir.
Mr Peter Nderitu Gakuru claimed that he and another man had been lured into a house at Karandi by a welder on August 29, where they were forced to take the oath.
He claimed the oath administrators in the dark noisy house wore masks. At one-corner, scores of other Mungiki members were sharpening pangas (machettes), he said.
Mr Gakuru was allegedly ordered to undress and when he refused, he was whipped several times and suffered a panga cut in the palm.
When he eventually undressed, a sharp knife was allegedly placed on his neck as he was forced to eat seven pieces of meat and drink blood.
"Thutha wa kunyua muma tweriruo twihite ati riu turi a Mungiki na tutikanakane Uhuru hingo ya githurano (After going through the ritual, we were ordered to swear that we are now Mungiki followers and would not betray Uhuru in the polls)," Mr Gakuru said.
He claimed he was warned never to disclose to anyone about the oath and ordered not to wash or change clothes for a week.
He said there were many other people in the house who were also being forced to take the oath.
Yesterday, acting Laikipia police boss Titus Karuri confirmed that Mr Gakuru had recorded a statement at Karandi.
"We gave him a P3 form so that he could be treated for the injuries he suffered," said Mr Karuri, adding that the Mungiki suspects were arrested on Tuesday night and would appear in court soon.
He said that Mr Gakuru's allegations were being investigated.
But Mungiki co-ordinator Ndura Waruinge denied that the sect was involved in administering any oaths.
"This (oathing claim) is mere propaganda by the Opposition who want to discredit us for the support we are getting from the masses," he said.
He also denied claims that three months ago, the sect planned a ceremony at which women would be forcibly cicrumcised.
"Mungiki is working closely with the local police, chiefs and district officers to maintain security in Laikipia," he said. He claimed that an Administration policeman had been assigned to every group of the sect's 30 members.
But Mr Karuri dismissed the police and Mungiki co-operation claims.
Mr Waruinge claimed that Mungiki chairman Maina Njenga, who planned to vie for the Laikipia West parliamentary seat, was being maligned by an Opposition aspirant.
He disowned the four suspects in police custody as non-Mungiki members. "We would like concrete evidence that we are involved in any (administration of) oaths and if this is done, I will be ready to carry my own cross," he said.
He said the oathing allegations were aimed at tarnishing Mr Kenyatta's name. "These allegations are being made out of fear. I urge all Kenyans not to panic."
He said Mungiki followers planned their biggest show in support of Mr Kenyatta on Saturday when he is expected at a rally in Nakuru's Afraha Stadium.
Mungiki Movement (Kenya) Updates 2002
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