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"Now Mungiki Calls for Talks With House Team"

by Simon Siele ("The Nation," June 22, 2004)

The outlawed Mungiki sect has extended an olive branch to the Government and asked for negotiations.
The sect's leaders in Rift Valley Province expressed their willingness to meet the Parliamentary Select Committee on National Security and "be given a chance to defend ourselves and put the record straight."
In a statement issued in Nakuru, the sect decried the manner in which its members were being condemned and convicted before they got a fair hearing.
"Our members have been remanded and jailed on trumped up charges by the former and present regimes," the sect's Rift Valley coordinator Kimani Ruo said.
The sect argued that heaping murder charges on their members was not a solution, and asked for dialogue in finding the cause of problems afflicting the youth.
The statement was also signed by the Mungiki national organising secretary, Mr Njoroge Kamunya, Nairobi coordinator Kamau Mwatha and Nakuru coordinator Kamondo Karuri.
They called on the Government to compensate the 83 sect members who were recently freed by a Nairobi court for lack of evidence.
They condemned the murders of the perceived Mungiki defectors, saying those involved were "rogue Mungiki cartels comprising street preachers and herbalists fighting for supremacy and a bigger pay cheque from their masters."
They called for the arrest of the perpetrators of such killings and asked National Security minister Chris Murungaru to crack down on the "rogue Mungiki cartels".
The response follows Dr Murungaru's assurance that the fight against the illegal sect would be intensified.
The minister declared "total war" on the remaining sect members, saying the Government would "wipe out" the sect, as the amnesty extended to its members early last year had long expired.
However, the sect members yesterday expressed willingness to meet the parliamentary team on security, led by Embakasi MP David Mwenje, to defend themselves against the killing accusations.
"We are always willing to assist the Government, but we are being hunted down alongside criminals for crimes that we have not committed," they said, adding that they had reformed.

"War On Mungiki Sect 'Still On'"

("The Nation," June 21, 2004)

The war on the outlawed Mungiki sect is still on, Internal Security minister Chris Murungaru, has said.
He assured the public that the Government had not relented in its crackdown against the sect and other organised criminal groups.
While addressing the Press at Karundas Secondary School in his Kieni constituency, Dr Murungaru said the Government would "wipe out" the sect, as the amnesty extended to its members early last year had long expired.
Declaring "total war" on the remaining sect members, the minister said the Government would purge the country of all groups and individuals engaging in organised crime and ensure that peace and security prevail.
In the last six months, more than 18 people are believed to have been brutally murdered by the sect's members.
Some of the victims are former Mungiki members who publicly denounced the sect and refused to rejoin it despite the expiry of a January ultimatum issued by die-hards.
But even as the minister gave the assurance, the Government was criticised for failing to crack down on the sect.
A Londiani councillor, Mr Jackson Kikwai, said one could not understand how the Government, with all the security machinery at its disposal, could to stamp out the Mungiki menace and save the lives of innocent Kenyans.
Speaking to journalists at Londiani market in Kericho District, Mr Kikwai said Kenyans were fed up with the killings. He said the Government should resign, if it cannot put a stop to the sect's activities.
But as he took on the Government, a suspected Mungiki adherent was arrested in Nyeri after a tip-off.
Members of the public informed the police about the suspect alleged to have slashed and seriously wounded four people in Ngangarithi Village in the last two days.
Villagers who spotted the suspect sitting near the scene of the crimes, alerted traffic police on duty along the Nyeri-Othaya-Karatina junction and they quickly swung into action.
They pursued the suspect and arrested him along Kiamwathi road before frogmatching him to the Nyeri Police Station as an angry crowd bayed for his blood.
Although the well-dressed suspect protested his innocence, the crowd escorted him to the police station to ensure that he did not escape.
On Friday afternoon, two people were assaulted with a machete, but the suspect escaped as villagers rushed to answer their cries for help.
And Saturday evening, two young women were slashed in the same area.
All the four victims were admitted at the Nyeri Provincial General Hospital with deep cuts on their heads and hands but were said to be out of danger.
Nyeri police boss George Wafula said the suspect would remain in custody until he is positively identified by the victims.

"Mungiki Sect Members Hack Girl, 13, to Death"

by Cyrus Kinyungu ("The Nation," June 16, 2004)

A 13-year-old school girl was slashed to death as suspected Mungiki sect members unleashed terror on residents of Nairobi's Mlango Kubwa estate on Monday evening.
Ms Evelyne Mumbua, a Standard Five pupil at Pangani Primary School in the city, was slashed with a panga on her neck as she peeped outside their house.
Neighbours said blood gushed out of the deep wound on the back side of her neck splattering their door and the walls of their neighbour's houses.
When Nation visited her home yesterday, the door and walls of the house still had the blood marks.
Neighbours said Ms Mumbua opened the door when she heard commotion outside their house. She came out and the first people she met were a group of suspected Mungiki members who were running along the path slashing everybody who came their way.
A woman who lives some metres from Ms Mumbua's house said one of the suspected Mungiki men cut her neck with a panga and she fell down. She said they ordered everybody else to get inside their houses.
"Every time we tried to take the girl to hospital, the thugs came running and ordered us to leave her to die," said a neighbour who did not want to be named.
A grief-stricken Ms Christine Nduku, the girl's mother, said she had gone to church when her daughter was killed.
The incident comes only a week after the severed head of a sect defector was found dumped at a Nairobi bus stop.
The severed head of Simon Ndabi Kamore was wrapped in a green paper bag and dumped at the OTC bus stop on the city's Race Course road. Police believe it was meant to be grim warning against the would-be defectors. The body of the deceased is yet to be found.
The sect members have been waging an underground war against its defectors. It is believed the war has so far claimed 14 people.
On Monday Nairobi police chief Mwangi King'ori said: "The city has three major problems, which are very much related and intertwined. These are Mungiki, carjackings ."
"We received the message Mungiki was trying to send by beheading its defector and dumping his head at a bus stop. Starting from last weekend, we began sending a very powerful reply that will make them regret," Mr King'ori said.
The officer said the police had opted to remain "faceless" to deal with the "faceless" Mungiki gang. Yesterday, he said about 150 suspected Mungiki members have been arrested and a number of firearms recovered.
Yesterday, residents of Mlango Kubwa said the suspected sect members went berserk and started indiscriminately slashing residents after police arrested seven of their key leaders.
They said their attempts to rescue their senior members from the police failed, making them turn their anger against the residents.
"They claimed that we had betrayed them to the police leading to the arrest of their leaders," said one man.
Kasarani police chief S M Makau said the sect members terrorised the residents after seven of their leaders were arrested. They tried to rescue them from the police but the officers overwhelmed, he said.

"Mungiki Sect Suspects Get Life Terms for Murder"

("The Nation," June 15, 2004)

Three people, suspected members of the outlawed Mungiki sect, were yesterday jailed for life for killing a police officer.
Harrison Kagwe Ngure, Robert Mwangi Kiburi and Evan Kogi Kimani appeared before a Murang'a senior principal magistrate charged with the murder of constable George Waigwa on September 24, 2000.
However, magistrate Geoffrey Mwaura freed Mr Joseph Mwangi Muchiri and Mr Evan Irungu Mwangi for lack of evidence.
The five had been charged with Mr Waigwa's murder at Kanjahi trading centre in Mathioya Division, Murang'a District. Mr Waigwa was among police officers who had gone to disperse a gathering of Mungiki sect followers.
In his judgment, Mr Mwaura said that from the evidence given by prosecution witnesses, the police officer was killed while on duty.
He said that when the police officers arrived at the scene where about 300 Mungiki members were meeting, the crowd confronted the officers who fired in the air.
Mr Mwaura said that following the confrontation, Mr Waigwa was overpowered by the crowd, which also snatched his rifle. The weapon was later recovered.
"During the incident, the deceased suffered various deep machete cuts and died while undergoing treatment at Kiria-ini Catholic Mission Hospital," the magistrate said.
The magistrate rejected the convicts' claims that the charges were fabricated.
Meanwhile, Former leaders of Mungiki yesterday denied that members of the movement were involved in the killing of defectors.
"We all reformed and joined the mainstream churches and Islam in the best interest of everyone," said Mr Kimani Ruo, Mr Peter Njoroge Kamunya and Mr Isaac Kamondo Karuri in a statement.
They claimed the perpetrators were members of murder groups formed by politicians and former policemen to create fear to discredit the Government.
The three claimed that the "Cobra Police Squad" had been formed purposely to harass the reformed members and haul others to jail on fabricated murder charges.
This, they said, was another way of re-introducing detention without trial through the back door and appealed to the Kenya Human Rights Commission to address the matter.

"Mungiki suspects acquitted"

("Kenya Broadcasting Corporation," June 06, 2004)

Eighty-four suspected Mungiki sect members were Friday acquitted of murder by the high court.
Justice Nicholas Ombija said the prosecution had not adduced sufficient evidence to warrant putting the accused on their defense for murder.
He ruled that the accused had no case to answer. The 84 men had been accused of murdering two men at Kayole last April.

"Police Arrest Mungiki Sect Leaders"

("The East African Standard," April 16, 2004)

Two mungiki leaders suspected of belonging to a killer squad have been arrested as police declared yesterday they had dismantled the sect.
And a member of a gang that terrorised former Agricultural Finance Corporation managing director, Mr Gideon Toroitich, has also been arrested as the crackdown on crime intensified.
The suspects were arrested near the old OTC bus station in the city and paraphernalia used in oathing seized, Nairobi police chief Jonathan Koskei said.
Koskei said that during Wednesday's operations, police also seized a middle-aged woman suspected to be leading a gang that circumcises women by force.
Dressed in a bui bui to pass herself off as a Muslim, the woman is also suspected to be part of a gang that has been mugging people around the station, Koskei said. Her name was given only as Mama Eunice.
Police recovered more than 50 identity and voters cards thought to belong to victims either killed or mugged by the gang. A raid on their hideout netted swords, clubs, sticks, snuff, literature on the sect's beliefs and items used in oathing, Koskei said.
Koskei immediately declared that police were winning the war against the outlawed sect.

"Mungiki Boss On Murder Charge"

("The East African Standard," April 09, 2004)

The chairman of the outlawed Mungiki sect, John Maina Njenga and 35 others were yesterday charged in court with murder.
The 36, together with others not in court, are alleged to have murdered Francis Njoroge Maina at Lower Kirinyaga Road in Nairobi on the night of February17.
They denied the charges before Justice Benjamin Kubo.
Their lawyer, Mr Samwel Mohochi, said the prosecution had not supplied them with witness statements and exhibits.
However, he said he was constantly in touch with the investigating officer who had assured him he would provide them.
Mohochi also claimed his clients' personal items had disappeared from the various police cells where they were being held.
He said three of them had lost mobile phones and money .The case will be mentioned on May 3. Trial begins on October 25.

"'Mungiki's' Revenge"

("The Nation," April 05, 2004)

Casualties are mounting in a vicious hunt by Mungiki diehards for former insiders who now pose the biggest threat to the outlawed society.
Stripped of the means to extort daily levies from matatus in recent transport reforms and driven out of slum caves and city centre hideouts thanks to precise information provided by defectors, never has the going been so bad in the chequered history of the movement started in 1985.
Dissent in the sect has created a treasure trove of information for security forces including a list of sect members, a list of contributions made by members and other documents on the group's possessions were seized.
The information the defectors provided has since led to the raiding of the sect's headquarters in Mukuru kwa Reuben by police. The information also led to the arrest of Mr Maina Njenga, widely believed to be the spiritual leader of the sect. He was arrested in the company of three women and three men also believed to be sect members.
Having the time of their lives in the hunt
Mungiki diehards fear that former members, who have been visiting the police, the provincial administration and even the National Security Intelligence offices providing the security agencies with information on the group, are the prime enemy.
But while security forces are having the time of their lives in the hunt for Mungiki, the defectors are living their worst nightmares. This past week, they were seeking audience with National Security minister Chris Murungaru to address their security having previously held discussions with the Nairobi PC Francis Sigei and his deputy.
This past week also, yet another Mungiki defector went missing. Ng'ang'a wa Muthoni, a street preacher along Racecourse Road in Nairobi was last seen on Thursday evening. It is believed that he was lured by a woman to a trap laid by Mungiki diehards at Eastleigh.
His wife, Sarah Muthoni Ng'ang'a, a mother of one, reported the disappearance to Kamukunji police station at the weekend.
The news will be a setback for a special squad of over 100 officers from five security units formed recently to try to wipe out the group. Members of the squad are drawn from the regular police, GSU, Administration police, CID, Flying Squad and special anti-crime unit.
The crack squad has netted over 10 national and regional leaders of the sect during raids in Dandora in Nairobi and Juja in Thika district.
Other key figures fleeing the crackdown are said to be hiding in Embu, Eldoret, Kericho, Nyeri, Nakuru and Machakos town, police sources said.
The police fightback followed a spate of tell-tale Mungiki revenge killings. Defectors have been forced into hiding after information reached them that sect's diehards have orders to execute them before they provide security forces with any more potentially damaging information.
Three former members who left the group last year after Dr Murungaru declared an amnesty for members who quit the gang, have already been eliminated by a revenge squad set up soon after the much-publicised defections. Several others have been kidnapped over the past three months as dissent spreads within the movement.
A couple that had openly renounced membership of the group was shot dead by gunmen at their Kiamaiko slum home as their three children watched.
Two gunmen burst into the home of Pastor James Irungu Njenga alias Wakaguku and pumped several bullets into him, then turned the guns on his wife Florence Muthoni as she screamed for help.
Pastor Njenga was an active member of the sect, but quit a few months ago to become a Christian preacher. The attack occurred in the same week that another defector, Mr David Waweru Kabia, went missing. His wife has visited all police stations in the city to no avail.
Yet another defector, Mr Jacob Nderitu Karanja, was hijacked on January 30 at around 8 am on his way to visit a friend at Kariobangi, Nairobi. He had travelled to Kariobangi from his Githurai home.
Reporting his colleagues to police instead of the sect
He has not been traced to date despite his relatives' attempts to locate him.
A friend said that Mr Karanja had been attacked at home a week earlier by Mungiki adherents, who stole the sound equipment he used in preaching. Defectors said he was killed for reporting his colleagues to police instead of reporting to Mungiki leadership.
The evidence that he had reported to the police was in his pockets - a police warrant of arrest for his attackers.
The shooting to death of a 21-year-old man in Soweto slums, Nairobi, is also cast by Mungiki defectors as a revenge killing by seven armed men who they say mistook him for a former sect member. A second person, who was in the company of the deceased, was seriously injured during the shooting incident.
Yet another defector was murdered in mid-February and his mutilated body thrown into Nairobi River behind Riverside Hotel. Maina alias Mabro's body had been skinned and some body parts mutilated.
It is understood that many defectors have left Nairobi and gone to their rural homes or other hideouts.
Following the killings, the PC met 10 representatives of the defectors while in the company of a section of the provincial security team.
Among those who attended the three-and-a-half hour meeting at the PC's boardroom were Mr Sigei, his deputy Mr Ali Bwalali, Nairobi provincial police boss Mr Jonathan Kosgey, the provincial CID Boss and the provincial intelligence chief.
The team decided to form a special crack squad of officers from paramilitary General Service Unit and Administration police specifically to fight the sect.
Sources told the Nation that the defectors were harshly critical of regular police for the revenge murders because the three former sect members murdered by Mungiki had reported their fears to Kamukunji police and Central police stations in Nairobi. However, they said, police failed to act on the report made making it possible for the murders to take place.
Revealed hideouts and its mode of operation
The crack squad was detailed to act on the information provided by the defectors to wipe out the sect.
This has set the stage for a major battle as the group tries to cover its tracks by eliminating former members.
There is no shortage of vital information for security agents seeking to stop the revenge squad. Defectors from the group revealed to the Nation the sect's hideouts and its mode of operation.
The sect's headquarters, the defectors said, are in Mukuru kwa Reuben slums in Nairobi where its secretary resides.
It also has a farm in Laikipia district where "state house" is located.
The sect has cells in Riverside in the city centre, Mwiki, Kayole, Lunga Lunga, Kawangware, Githurai Kimbo, Juja, Rongai and Mukuru kwa Reuben among other places in Nairobi.
It also has hideouts in Mombasa, Murang'a, Nakuru, Nyeri and Laikipia among other districts.
The group also operates a poultry farm in Kitengela.
The cell in Riverside which is referred to as "Bargation", the source said, is the most dangerous one.
It is responsible for most of the mass murders in Nairobi and violent crime. The cell, our source said, was the one responsible for the Kariobangi mass murders.
Demand money protection money in city estates
The sect's leader takes the cell, which is made up of over 50 members, as his paramilitary unit
The group members divide themselves in platoons. Every platoon has 10 members and a leader.
The platoon leader is given the responsibility of collecting money from the bus terminus they control and coordinating other members activities including crime.
Among the sect's fund raising techniques are extorting from matatu drivers, controlling bus terminus, violent crime and contribution from rich members.
Though the group is not known to deal in drugs, a defector said the snuff they use contains drugs.
They also demand money from households in certain estates in order to "maintain security" in the estates.
Among the matatu routes the group exercised control over before the transport reforms are Kayole route 1960/1961, Dandora-32/42, Huruma-46 and Kariobangi - 14, 28, 40.
It also controlled other routes outside Nairobi.
The group collected at least Sh10,000 a day per route at the height of its blood-soaked reign.
Extortion and voluntary contributions from matatus continue. One of the defectors told the Nation that the sect members have been taking Sh200 from drivers violently. He said the members intimidate the drivers by showing them guns.
However, he says, some of the drivers are still members of the sect and therefore give willingly.
He says the system of issuing Good Conduct Certificates did not prevent Mungiki members from getting back to the matatu business.
Besides, all members are required to pay one shilling everyday to the sect's National leader. The Sh30 is delivered to the leader every month.
In Mathare, Mlango Kubwa and St Teresa's estate in Eastleigh, the sect members demand Sh50 a month from every household to maintain security.
In Mathare slums the group changed its name to "Wazalendo" and are pretending to be security agents.
He says they have been making electric connections from power lines to some houses and charging monthly fee of between Sh100-300 a month to the residents.
The money collected by the members from different sources, the sect defectors said, is distributed four ways - members salaries, contribution to the sect chairman, to buy weapons for members, including guns for senior members and finally a share goes to bribe the government's security system particularly the police collaborators.
And as a pointer to the struggle that lies ahead, defectors said that members' guns number 300 Dandora estate alone.

"'Leader' of Banned Sect Denied Bail"

by Jillo Kadida ("The Nation," March 10, 2004)

The man widely believed to be the Mungiki national leader, Mr John Maina Njenga, and 32 others yesterday denied a charge of belonging to an illegal society.
The Nairobi chief magistrate's court remanded them in custody until March 19 when the case will be mentioned.
The court heard that between February 26, 2004, and March, Mr Njenga became a member of the sect, knowing or having reason to believe it was unlawful.
Ten people charged with Mr Njenga face another count of intending to commit a crime.
Police said that on February 26, at a slum in Nairobi, they were found with machettes, swords and clubs.
It is also claimed that the 33 took an unlawful oath.
The prosecution had asked for two weeks to complete investigations into whether the suspects had participated in robberies and many other crimes countrywide.
The accused were a threat to security, it said, and asked that they be remanded in custody.
In response to the defence lawyers' opposition to the anti-bail plea, chief magistrate Aggrey Muchelule said: "The right of the suspect to liberty, however, is subject to the rights of the larger society to live in a secure environment. The court is alive to the increased armed robberies and cold-blooded murders countrywide.
"Where it is alleged that some members of the proscribed organisation might be taking oaths to commit the atrocities, for the police to get to the root of these activities, the suspects' right to liberty should be compromised for two weeks."
The Mungiki sect had been declared unlawful under the Societies Act Cap 108, he pointed out.
The case will be mentioned on 33 suspects will have spent ten nights in custody by March 19, when the their case will be mentioned.

"Hunt for Mungiki Followers"

by Eliud Miring'uh ("The East African Standard," March 09, 2004)

Police yesterday declared war on the outlawed Mungiki sect, as reports emerged that its members were involved in cases of carjacking.
The Nairobi police boss, Mr Jonathan Koskei, said his men arrested eight Mungiki adherents last Sunday and confiscated certain paraphernalia from the suspects, which was being analysed.
This follows an exclusive story carried by the East African Standard on the emergence of a squad within the outlawed sect trained to kill people.
Members of the sect who graduate into the squad, are known as "bagation squad" derived from the words "no bargain over death."
Speaking yesterday, Koskei said the new squad was meant to intimidate former members of the sect, who had denounced it or abandoned its dangerous mission.
"We have a number of murder cases as well as carjacking linked to Mungiki members," Koskei told journalists in his office.
He said intelligence reports had linked the sect with two murders in Kasarani, which was part of the revenge killing.
Koskei said police had already dismantled the sect's top leadership. He was optimistic the current crackdown would bear fruits.
"We have started from the top by dismantling Mungiki and our efforts are succeeding," said Koskei.
He said remnants of the sect were trying to intimidate those who had abandoned it, hence the formation of this dangerous squad on revenge mission.
Earlier, Police sources in Nairobi had confirmed that at least 50 young people had graduated into the death squad since January this year.
The members, in their early 20s, paid between Sh1,200 and Sh1,800 before they were allowed to pass out as "bagation unit."
This group has been used by Mungiki to murder or execute their adversaries.
Last week, nine members of the 'bagation' squad were arrested by Police after they were found taking oath at a slum near Riverside Hotel in River Road area.
Police also confiscated several 'certificates' that were to be issued to the graduands.
A register containing over 5,000 names of Mungiki members was also found during the raid, along with photocopies of National Identity Cards.
The nine in police custody were found in possession of human hair, and a flywhisk.
A man's body with some parts missing was also recovered from the scene and taken to City mortuary pending identification.

"How Mungiki Trains Killers"

by Evelyn Kwamboka ("The East African Standard," March 08, 2004)

There is a killer Mungiki unit and it is among the highest organs in the hierarchy of the outlawed sect.
Those who graduate into the squad are known in the Mungiki fraternity as members of the 'bagation' squad.
The word bagation, police sources reveal, is a corruption or contraction of the words "no bargain over death".
And police told the East African Standard that they have confirmed that at least 50 young people have graduated into the death squad in Nairobi since January.
The young people, in their teens and early 20s, paid a sum of between Sh1,200 and Sh1,800 before they could pass out as members of the 'bagation' unit.
Police appeared puzzled that the 'graduands' would be required to pay that money to be initiated into the business of killing people.
And now police believe that it is members of the 'bagation' unit who have been used by Mungiki to murder or execute their adversaries in the country.
"When ordered by their leaders to kill so and so, they do it because of the oath taken during graduation," police sources said.
They said police were holding some sect members who were found taking the 'bagation' oath at a slum behind Riverside Hotel in Nairobi's River Road area.
Police also confiscated several 'certificates' that were to be issued to the 'graduands' after the oath.
"We arrested nine people whom we found taking the oath on February 29," the sources said.
Last night Nairobi police appealed to parents to closely monitor the activities of their children and inform them should they have reason to believe they have joined the illegal sect.
"They are our children; today it is my son and tomorrow it may be yours who is joining a dangerous and murderous sect. Help the police to help you," a senior police officer told the East African Standard.
Police are also going over a register recovered from arrested Mungiki people on which there are more than 5,000 names of people believed to have enlisted with the sect.
Police sources said the register is useful because it will lead them to more members of the outlawed sect.
Also found in the register were photo copies of national identity cards, which has led police to believe that enlistees are required to surrender the copies to the leaders of the sect upon recruitment.
The nine people in police custody were also in possession of paraphernalia such as human hair and a flywhisk.
A man's body with some parts missing was also found at the scene and taken to City Mortuary.
In the register, details of concoctions to be taken as an oath during the 'bagation' graduation were clearly indicated.
This included drinking human urine, eating a human being's umbilical cord, sniffing tobacco and burning of scents.
Last year in Nakuru, several people were killed by those believed to have been from the sect.
In Dandora, they took over matatu stages, killing and injuring a number of residents. They also invaded Wakulima Market at around 4.00am last year, demanding to take over the business of loading goods onto vehicles.
Police are investigating reports that on January 20 this year, 25 sect members graduated to join a group of more than 70 in the 'bagation' unit in the country.
According to the register with the police, Mungiki's Platoon One - Bagation Number 10 - operates in Korogocho, Mathare, Kayole and Dandora.
The platoon in Dandora is also backed by a Number 3, which is in charge of Githunguri, and Kiamaiko.
In Buruburu, Machakos town and Mlango Kubwa in Eastleigh, it is Bagation Number 8 carries out the killing duties.
Nairobi Provincial Police boss Jonathan Koskei has said police were using the register to crack down on the outlawed sect members.
He said the members have changed their attire and that most of them have shaved their dreadlocks.
The Nairobi Provincial Commissioner, Mr Francis Sigei, called on sect members to follow their former leader Ndura Waruinge's steps by abandoning it and converting to Christianity.

"'Mungiki' Boss And 32 Others Denied Bail"

by Jillo Kadida ("The Nation," March 06, 2004)

The man widely considered to be Mungiki's national leader, Mr John Maina Njenga, and 32 others were yesterday charged with being members of an unlawful society.
His prosecution comes more than a year after Narc came to power and signalled its determination to stamp out the movement, some of whose members have been linked to bloody attacks on members of the public.
The court heard that between February 26, 2004, and March Mr Njenga became a member of the society yet he knew or had reasonable cause to believe it was unlawful.
One of 33 suspects with who Mr Njenga had been arrested, Mr Solomon Wanyoike, was not present in court.
Ten other people charged with Mr Njenga faced a different count of intending to commit a felony.
Police claim that on February 26, at a slum behind Riverside Hotel in Nairobi, they were found armed with machettes, swords and clubs. It is also claimed that the group took an unlawful oath.
The suspects, all young and without the trademark Mungiki dreadlocks, were brought to court at 3pm and the charges were read out immediately.
The suspects were expected to take their pleas in the morning but did not appear before the chief magistrate.
Prosecutor Moses Odoyo said the suspects were a threat to national security and asked that they be remanded in custody.
"Even though we have the suspects in court there are others who are still at large, I fear if they are released on bail they will continue with their activities," said Mr Opondo.
But defence lawyers opposed the application to deny the suspects bail.
The 33 suspects will have spent four nights in custody by Tuesday, when the Chief Magistrate will give his ruling on whether to give them bail or return them to remand.
The state also promised to present Mr Wanyoike, the missing suspect, in court on Monday.

"'Mungiki' Murder Trial Resumes"

("The Nation," February 09, 2004)

The hearing of a case in which former Nakuru Town MP David Manyara and 13 others - said to be members of the banned Mungiki sect - are charged with the murder of 10 people will resume this morning.
Mr Manyara's co-accused are are suspected Mungiki sect members. They are alleged to have committed the crime in Nakuru's Flamingo and Lake View estates on January 5, 2003.
The hearing was adjourned last November by the High Court pending the Court of Appeal's interpretation of the Evidence Act.
The Attorney-General, through a state counsel Evans Onderi, made the application after the presiding Judge Mr Justice Muga Apondi ruled out the use of confessions made at a police station as evidence in the case.
Mr Onderi said that after Parliament outlawed the use of confessions as evidence, uncertainties had arisen on interpretation of the repealed sections.
The sections of the Act that were amended include 28, 30 and 31. The amendments came into force last July.
Mr Onderi said that all along, the prosecution secured convictions through confessions.
He had lined up several police officers who obtained the confessions to testify before the hearing was adjourned.
He said that the trial basically, but not exclusively, rested on confessions that the accused persons had made to the police.
Mr Onderi had submitted that the amendment had not substantially affected the admission of such evidence and said that the AG wanted the Court of Appeal to interpret the matter.
Mr Manyara is represented by lawyer Karanja Mbugua.
While adjourning the case, Mr. Justice Apondi regretted that the Criminal Procedure Code was silent on whether or not the state should appeal against rulings made in the middle of proceedings.
He had said that he would however not block the prosecution from accessing the highest court.

"Six 'Mungiki' Defectors Arrested"

by Lucas Barasa And Paul Udoto ("The Nation," February 09, 2004)

Six former outlawed Mungiki sect followers were yesterday arrested for defying police instructions to disperse during a demonstration.
They were part of hundreds of the sect's defectors who were demonstrating in Nairobi streets to protest against an alleged kidnapping of their Pastor, Jacob Karanja.
Anti-riot police lobbed teargas canisters into the demonstrators who had marched from Racecourse Road to the Nation Centre, some four kilometres away.
Chanting anti-Mungiki slogans and posters of Mr Karanja, the protesters, some wearing Akorino sect turbans, hesitated to disperse after they were ordered to do so by police, mainly from Kamukunji Police Station, who had trailed them in a lorry.
They kept regrouping as they walked away interfering with traffic, forcing police to chase them through the streets and arrest the six.
Mr Sammy Waweru Mwangi was ruthlessly beaten at the Racecourse/Ronald Ngala junction by a group of Mungiki followers for condemning their leader, Mr Maina Njenga. The attackers disappeared as fast as they had appeared.
Shortly before being assaulted by the Mungiki gang, Mr Mwangi had told journalists that defectors' lives were in danger.
He said: "We defected because Mungiki worships the devil and would like the Government to protect us."
Last month, four street preachers were seriously injured by Mungiki adherents. They were ambushed at the road while preaching.
Their worshippers scampered for safety as the gang chased them with clubs, machetes and swords.
Yesterday, the demonstrators claimed that Mungiki members still controlled some matatu routes in the city, including Kayole and Embakasi.
This is in defiance of Transport minister John Michuki's order that all routes be cleared of goons.
Another defector, Mr Peter Kuria, said if the Government offered them security, they would show it how to track down the sect's adherents.
"The Government should tell us whether it has failed to contain the Mungiki menace otherwise we shall take law into our own hands," Mr Shadrack Nyagah said.
The protesters said Mr Karanja, 30, who is also a musician, was kidnapped by the sect followers nine days ago while heading to a friend's house from Githurai at 7.30 am.
His wife, Ms Anna Wangoi Nderitu, said she suspected her husband, a father of one, had been kidnapped by the outlawed sect adherents as they had earlier expressed anger over his defection.
"We immediately reported the disappearance to Kamukunji Police Station and others but nothing has been done," she said.
The demo, they said, was meant to make the Government act and assure former Mungiki followers of protection.
The proscribed group members, they said, were not as organised as the Government had been made to believe.
One of the rules of the outlawed sect, they said, was that one does not leave once he/she joins, otherwise they would be killed, on the pretex, " it is God who has given us courage to do so."
They said the sect was devilish, accusing it of brainwashing members to participate in unlawful acts.
"I even wonder what made me join the sect and I always ask God why He allowed me to do so," Mr Peter Macharia said.
A renown artist, Mr Dominic Kibuika Mwai, popularly known as Nyegese, 29, and pastors Isaiah Mwangi, Ndungu Njenga, Elijah Mwangi, Elijah Maina and Chege Ndungu, said Mungiki could only wiped out if its commander, Mr Maina Njenga, was arrested.
They said although 75 per cent of former Mungiki followers had defected, the members were still everywhere in the country and operated underground cells, which they used to torture defectors.
"The problem is that when a member is killed, the body will never be found as it would be cut into pieces, packed in a bag and thrown into a nearby river," Mr Mwai said.
They said they believed the kidnapped pastor had either being killed or was being held at a hideout in Muranga.
They claimed the sect members had a list of seven pastors they wanted killed for allegedly being the ringleaders of defectors.

Mungiki Movement (Kenya) Updates 2004

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