CESNUR - Center for Studies on New Religions directed by Massimo Introvigne

"Mungiki sect head freed in Kenya"

("BBC," October 27, 2009)

Nairobi, Kenya - Crowds in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, have welcomed the release from prison of a notorious gang leader.
Maina Njenga, chairman of the Mungiki sect, was freed after the state withdrew murder charges for lack of evidence, a prosecutor said.
He had been charged with the killings of villagers in central Kenya in April.
Earlier this week, he had demanded state protection to give evidence against government officials allegedly involved in the sect's activities.
The Mungiki, a secretive sect mainly from Kenya's largest ethnic group, the Kikuyu, are seen as Kenya's version of the mafia.
Mr Njenga had originally been jailed in 2007 over his alleged possession drugs and a firearm.
He was acquitted of those charges in April and immediately rearrested and charged in connection with the murders of 29 people in the central Kenyan town of Karatina.
The head of public prosecution, Keriako Tobiko, said that after a thorough review of the evidence, it was concluded "that there was no evidence to sustain the murder charge".
The BBC's Ruth Nesoba said after his release Mr Njenga denounced the sect and declared that he was now a born-again Christian.
"I had a very good time [in jail] to study the Bible that is why now I will come to you like a professor of the Bible," he told a big church service.
Hundreds of Mungiki followers were in the church, easily identifiable by their characteristic dreadlocks, our reporter says.
"All other people that believe I am their chairman must also follow my example. They should now come to the church and start receiving salvation.
"This is not time of bringing chaos," he said, adding that charges he had been accused of "were false".
Correspondents say there is a great deal of scepticism about Mr Njenga's change of heart as other Mungiki leaders have publicly converted to Christianity in the past, but have remained involved in the gang.
The Mungiki has continued to operate despite being banned in 2002, extorting money from owners of minibus taxis and other public transport vehicles.
In 2007, more than 100 suspected sect members were killed in a police crackdown after a series of grisly beheadings blamed on the sect.
Last year the Mungiki was accused of carrying out revenge attacks after ethnic Kikuyus were killed by rival gangs in post-election violence.

"Outlawed sect members posing as matatu crews"

("Daily Nation," October 08, 2009)

Lagos, Nigieria - There is a thin line between members of the Mungiki sect and genuine matatu crews.
And this is hurting efforts by police officers to rid the transport sector of the outlawed movement that extorts from matatus in the guise of offering protection.
The Nation has learnt that the sect’s members are now posing as matatu crews and route managers.
Tuesday’s shooting of five men in a matatu at Githurai 44 could prove to be the proverbial tip of the iceberg in the relationship between the sect, the industry and the .
policeKenya National Youth Alliance spokesman Njuguna Gitau said that some of the men who had been shot were members of his group, which is largely perceived to be the political wing of the outlawed Mungiki sect.
The statement by Mr Njuguna contradicted those of the public and operators on the route who had insisted that those killed were genuine matatu crews who had nothing to do with the criminal gang.
A matatu operator on another city route that has also experienced upheavals in the past, spoke to the Nation about the menace and why he does not see an end to it anytime soon.
“The kiama (council) is now stronger and has come up with new ways to avoid detection. They are collecting more money than before,” said the driver in an interview with the Nation.
According to the man, who says he has worked on the Wangige route for at least 15 years, the Mungiki sect - variously referred to as kiama, anake or njama - never really went away.
The driver said that the sect members have adopted new strategies that would make it difficult for someone without inside information to know their operations.
According to the driver, who cannot be named for his own security, members of the sect now have valid licenses and the paperwork needed to operate freely.
The police, he says, have also been roped in on the illegal sect’s activities, with their role ending when they collect their dues.
During the course of the interview at the Old Nation/Khoja roundabout, the Nation observed two policemen on patrol consult matatu crews at the bus stop before a patrol car stopped there.
According to our source, it is a daily routine and the mission of these ‘patrols’ is to collect ‘taxes.’
Sect members who collect the fees have also abandoned the scruffy looks and dreadlocks that were a dead give-away and now don clean, well-dressed looks.
The banned movement collects a total of about Sh650 from each matatu on the route every day, raking in nearly Sh195,000 daily. There are about 300 matatus on the Wangige route and several collection points for varying amounts ranging from Sh100 to as little as Sh20.

"Police told to crush Mungiki"

by Fred Mukinda ("Daily Nation," June 01, 2009)

Nairobi, Kenya - Police have been directed to stamp out criminal gangs like Mungiki and vigilante groups in parts of the country.
Addressing Kenyans at Monday’s Madaraka Day celebrations at the Nyayo Stadium in Nairobi, President Kibaki said the groups were a big threat to security and needed to be dealt with firmly.
“I am concerned at the threats posed by organised criminal gangs, militias, commercial cattle rustlers and vigilante forces. This is the reason why security forces are under strict instructions to deal firmly and swiftly with those who threaten the lives and property of our people,” the President said.
Vigilante gangs in Kisii have been burning to death those accused of witchcraft.
Most recently, vigilante groups have emerged in Central Kenya, killing suspected Mungiki sect members.
Mungiki is blamed for numerous killings in Nairobi and Central Province, with the most recent atrocity being in Kirinyaga, where 30 people were murdered in a single night.
The President’s directive comes at a time when the government is in the international spotlight for alleged police executions of youths suspected to be members of criminal gangs.
Internal Security minister George Saitoti will on Wednesday defend the government against the claims at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland.
UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial killings and summary executions, Prof Philip Alston, who produced the damning report, will take the stand against the government at the same forum.
More money
President Kibaki said police would be allocated more money from Treasury.
“Funding for the judicial system, that is the Judiciary, State Law Office, Police Service and Prisons Department will be substantially increased,” he said.
The President also directed police to assign more personnel to investigations to ensure water-tight cases are taken to court.
“We must have sufficient officers. No doubt, other aspects of reform will be implemented once the relevant task forces’ recommendations are received,” he said.
A Police Reforms Task Force has been set up to transform the force to world standards.
The President also assured Kenyans that the armed forces were prepared to fend off any external aggression.
Kenya is embroiled in a dispute with Uganda over the border running across Lake Victoria. A joint survey by experts from both countries kicks off on Tuesday.
“Kenya has the will and capacity to protect her territorial integrity and the welfare of her people. But we must not be a nation of warmongers but a land of people who cherish peace,” he said.
“We seek to live in peace with our neighbours. Nevertheless, we shall resist threats to our freedom and peace, and our security agencies have been detailed to deal firmly with threats from any quarter.”

"Mungiki leader sues government over re-arrest"

by Lempaa Suyianka and Dzuya Walters ("Kenya Broadcasting Corporation," May 06, 2009)

Nairobi, Kenya - The suspected leader of the proscribed Mungiki sect Maina Njenga Wednesday moved to sue the government over his re-arrest moments after he was released by the High Court last week.
Njenga has sued the commissioner of police over his incarceration and through his lawyer Paul Muite, he now wants the Attorney General and the police commissioner be ordered to allow him access to legal representation.
He also wants to be released on bail pending the hearing and determination of his case.
Njenga further claims that since his arrest eight days ago, he has been subjected to torture and degrading punishment contrary to the constitution.
Muite says police have fabricated Maina's involvement in the Mathira massacre to continue detaining him without trial.
The High Court ordered Njenga's release last week from prison where he was serving a five year jail term on charges of illegal possession of a firearm and marijuana.
Elsewhere Justice Muga Apondi has directed the doctor in charge of Pumwani Maternity Hospital to conduct tests to ascertain whether Florence Gathoni accused of killing her husband Brian Karanja is pregnant or not.
Justice Apondi says the report would enable him make a decision after Gathoni last week pleaded guilty to mans laughter.
Gathoni was accused of killing her husband following a domestic quarrel on the night of January 10.
The two had earlier attended a thanksgiving party at a friend's house at Thome Estate in Nairobi where they are both said to have taken some alcoholic drinks.
Gathoni is said to have accused her husband of 10 years of having an extra marital affair which sparked off the fight between them old the pregnancy which Gathoni says is about four months old is confirmed, the judge could suspend imprisonment.
Meanwhile Justice Apondi has directed that a case in which two people including a policeman are charged with the murder of the son to former Gatundu North MP Patrick Muiruri be consolidated on Friday.
The consolidation was to be done Wednesday but the medical report on whether one of the suspects Alexander Chepkonga Francis is mentally fit to stand trial was not ready.
Chepkonga and Dickson Mwangi Muene have denied the offence that they allegedly committed in January this year.

"Funeral service held for Karatina massacre victims"

by Rose Kamau ("Kenyan Broadcasting Corporation," April 30, 2009)

Nairobi, Kenya - Hundreds of mourners Thursday thronged Ndiriri Primary School grounds in Ndia constituency, Kirinyaga West district for a mass funeral service for twelve victims of last week's Karatina massacre.
A sorrowful mood engulfed the ground as the twelve white coated caskets with crosses inscribed with the names of the victims were lined up on wooden benches among religious leaders, dignitaries' and the mourners.
The victims were all relatively young people born between 1970 and 1991 except Francis Wachira who was born in 1964.
President Mwai Kibaki sent a message of condolences to families which was read by Gender, Children and Social Development minister Esther Murugi.
In his message, Kibaki urged leaders to explore avenues of creating employment for the youth to discourage idleness and emphasized on the need for community policing in curbing crime H.ked the provincial administration to use all intelligence gathered to thwart such incidents in future Murugi on her part blamed parents, religious leaders and teachers for failing to shape the youth into responsible adults adding that there was need to accord the youth a conducive environment for them to develop.
"We have a duty to find a permanent solution to the problems affecting the youth in the country," she said.
Speaking during the service, Saboti MP Eugene Wamalwa called for a comprehensive youth policy that will address the problems facing young people in the country.
He said that the problems bedeviling the youth in Central Province were not unique to the area was spread across the nation.
Assistant minister for local government Njeru Githae who is also the area MP led mourners in declaring a total war on drugs and illicit liquor.
Gichugu MP Martha Karua said there was need for consultation between leaders, the youth and parents to find a permanent solution to the youth problem in the region.
The former Justice Minister warned against tagging names to criminals noting that every individual should be treated according to his/her actions.
The 12 were among 29 people killed by suspected members of the Mungiki sect who were ostensibly on a revenge mission after their members were killed by vigilantes.

"Elite squad goes after Mungiki"

by John Njagi and James Kariuki ("Daily Nation," April 29, 2009)

Nyeri Town, Kenya - Dozens of young people were Wednesday arrested when elite policemen conducted a massive crackdown on members of the Mungiki extortion gang.
Most of the people were rounded up at bus stages in Nyeri Town after they were found touting for passengers without identification badges.
Others were seized for loitering and were later bundled into waiting police vehicles and taken to the police station.
The Nation team counted at least 50 youths being bundled into a police truck in handcuffs.
Tobbaco or bhang
Heavily armed General Service Unit officers and others from the Administration Police’s rapid response initiative were seen patrolling the streets and rounding up people, mostly young men.
Other officers used sniffer dogs to pick out those carrying tobacco or bhang, usually associated with members of the outlawed sect.
The operation, which started at dusk on Monday, extended into the night and was still continuing yesterday with the officers moving to residential estates such as Blue Valley and the sprawling Majengo slums where more suspects were seized.
Security officers have also been on high alert ever since the killing of 30 villagers in Nyeri East District last week and the arrest of several youths at an oathing ceremony in Kikuyu on Monday.
In Nyandarua North District, four people were arrested yesterday in a similar crackdown.
The four suspected sect members, among them a woman, were found in a house at Gwa Kungu area in Ndaragwa. The house is said to be used as a gang members’ hideout. There were pangas, among other items, such as tobacco, associated with the .
group District commissioner Hassan Farah said officers from the Rapid Deployment Unit in Nairobi were sent after reports of the sect’s activities in the area.
He said residents gave the police a tip-off about the four as they feared an outbreak of violence.
Mr Farah said the officers had clear instructions to deal firmly with the sect’s followers with a view to discouraging residents from condoning activities of the unlawful group.
The DC maintained that the government would not relent on its role to protect Kenyans and their property, saying the police were on high alert in the region.
He urged residents to remain calm and give the police any information that would lead to the arrest of suspected criminals.

"Mungiki leader freed, re-arrested"

by Sam Kiplagat ("Daily Nation," April 28, 2009)

Nairobi, Kenya - Mungiki sect leader Maina Njenga Tuesday enjoyed a few minutes of freedom, after a successful appeal,but was re-arrested.
Police officers in civilian clothing pounced on the sect leader and whisked him away a few minutes after the High Court had ordered his release.
The sect leader successfully appealed against a five-year jail term after he was charged and convicted on allegations of possessing an illegal firearm and trafficking in narcotic drugs.
His release was however short-lived after the police arrested him on suspicion that he “personally ordered the killing of 28 people” in Nyeri one week ago.
The officers could not wait for the sect leader to be taken to Industrial Area Prison where his lawyer Kibe Mungai anticipated his clearance following the acquittal by Mr Justice J.B. Ojwang.
Mr Mungai condemned the arrest terming it malicious.
A statement from the police headquarters said Mr Njenga was wanted for murder of 28 people at Chehe village in Nyeri West district. The killings occurred one week after a vigilante group killed 14 members of the sect in neighbouring Kirinyaga district.
The statement, signed by police spokesman Eric Kiraithe said that the police had credible evidence that Mr Njenga personally ordered the multiple murders that occurred on the night of April 20 and 21.
Mr Kiraithe also said the proscribed sect leader will be investigated in connection with “several other serious criminal offences committed by the outlawed criminal gang under his leadership”.
Earlier in court, Mr Justice Ojwang ruled that Mr Njenga was convicted on defective charges. The Judge said both charges- of illegal possession of a firearm and trafficking in drugs- were defective and incurable in law.
In faulting the trial magistrate for convicting the sect leader on defective charges, Mr Justice Ojwang said that although the pistol found in Njenga’s possession was not capable of firing, the charge did not fall under weapons defined in the Act he was convicted of.

"GSU to hunt down sect members"

by John Njagi and George Munene ("Daily Nation," April 25, 2009)

Nairobi, Kenya - The government has sent in GSU officers to Kirinyaga West and Nyeri East districts to hunt down members of the outlawed Mungiki sect.
Heavily armed officers arrived in the area on Friday night and are camping at the Kerugoya and Karatina police stations.
Flush out
They are patrolling Kerugoya town, neighbouring villages and the Mt Kenya Forest to flush out Mungiki members suspected of having killed 29 people in Gathaithi village in Nyeri East, which neighbours Kirinyaga.
The officers are also expected to try to halt the wave of revenge killings in Kirinyaga West district where a vigilante group hacked to death a widow, Jane Nyaruia, and burnt down her house, accusing her of funding Mungiki activities.
Villagers in Kirinyaga West took up arms on April 11 protesting exploitation and attacks by Mungiki members, saying the police had failed to protect them. The villagers subsequently killed 15 people and burnt down 22 houses believed to have belonged to sect members.
The 29 villagers in Gathaithi were massacred on Monday night in what is suspected to have been a retaliatory attack by the Mungiki.
Villagers from both Nyeri East and Kirinyaga West are planning to bury the victims on Thursday.
Allan Muriuki, one of the elders organising the funeral, said residents of both districts are meeting in one place in a show of solidarity.
“About 15 of those who died are from the same family. The rest are from Kirinyaga. We have decided to hold one meeting because we have always lived as one people,” Mr Muriuki said.
However, tension remained high in both districts as the men are still spending the nights outside patrolling the villages.
“We are patrolling while armed with rungus and pangas because those people who conducted the grisly murders may still be around,” said resident Peter Kagui.
Security meetings
The residents have reportedly been holding their own security meetings and are planning to have people anonymously identify criminals in their midst. The names of those mentioned will then be forwarded to the police for legal action.
“We know people may fear identifying criminals; that is why we are preparing a way by which people can name the criminals without fear of reprisal,” said one of the residents who did not want to be named for fear of victimisation.
The residents have also proposed that they be issued with certificates of good conduct by their respective assistant chiefs and present them before they can get casual jobs in the area like picking tea.
On Tuesday, Central PC Japhter Rugut said the night patrol groups would be issued with identity cards so they could be identified easily by the police as they carry out their rounds.

"Gang now takes war to the church"

by Mwangi Muiruri ("The Standard," April 22, 2009)

Nairobi, Kenya - A new battle in Central Province is in the offing as the proscribed Mungiki sect targets the church.
The sect is now threatening residents to steer off Christianity and openly challenging the clergy to cease evangelism amongst the Agikuyu community.
While the sect advocates for extreme traditional cultural practices like female genital mutilation, tobacco sniffing and ‘decent’ dressing for women, the Christian doctrine teaches repentance and salvation.
The church views the sect as representing the anti-Christ, whereas Mungiki describe the church as slaves of Western values.
Capturing the magnitude of the sect’s assault on cultural order is Mrs Watiri Michuki, wife of Environment minister John Michuki.
In a recent church function in Kangema -where she is a women’s leader - she lamented: "In my 60 plus years, I have never witnessed such blatant affront on cultural values as being showcased by our youths."
She called upon all mothers countrywide to pray for their sons.
A pastor in Iyego location, Murang’a District whose name cannot be published for his own safety says Mungiki has succeeded in creating a rift between churches and the society.
"Mungiki recruit students even in primary schools. They incite students against Christian Religious Education (CRE) studies," he says.
He adds: "Recently, a Mungiki kingpin raided a local church as brethren prayed. He was armed with a panga and went straight to the pulpit and banged it on the floor. He warned Christians not to compete with him in recruiting followers."
Clergy under threat
It was a warning that the community should troop to traditional shrines and reject the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The sect is said to have beheaded a pastor of the Anglican Church in Nyeri’s Kabaru area to stamp their authority.
But whereas opinion has always been strong that politicians, businessmen and professionals finance the sect, it is emerging that some clergy have joined the bandwagon.
So complex is the situation that even musicians in the province are split down the middle.
"Most of the secular musicians openly support the sect whereas Gospel ones strongly push for Christian values," reveals a security officer attached to the National Security Intelligence Service in Murang’a District.
This comes after the release of at least 10 new albums, all of them showing open support for the sect and its values. Three songs, Matigari (remnants) and Muhiko II as well as Mutu I and II (Maize Flour) are among new hits seen to glorify the sect’s activities.
An exception is Queen Jayne who has released a counter volume titled Gikuyu cokererai Ngai (Agikuyu return to God) conflict has even distorted some of the revered cultural practices like burial ceremonies.
"It has reached a point where some families are burying their dead as if they are outcasts," says Gitau Njuguna, National Youth Alliance spokesman.
He says that during crackdowns, authorities gun down suspects and police bar close relatives and other mourners travelling to the deceased’s village from attending the burial.
He says police barriers are erected near the burial site.
"It is an infringement of our culture as pertains to how we ought to behave as a community in matters of death," says Richard Mwangi of Murang’a.
Mwangi says some parts of Mugoiri location are greatly feared even by area residents working in Nairobi.
"You dare not visit here even if it is your village. If you want to send money to your family, use phone transfer services or tell the person to come for it," he says.
This has severed family ties and values where people working in urban centres are forced to keep away from their families hence breeding unfaithfulness.
"Our parents think we have neglected them since we dare not visit them lest we are arrested. The threat of being cursed is real," Njuguna says.
On the other hand, most Christians accuse Mungiki of forcibly recruiting children into the sect.
A civil servant from Murang’a South District, says families are feeling the heat of Mungiki activities.
"I have a school going brother who recently called me saying he was already in Nairobi. I found that unusual. When we linked up he told me he was fleeing from a Mungiki recruitment drive," he says.
He reveals that for fear of the sect getting their children, parents have to be extra vigilant during circumcision period.
"Gone are the days when circumcision was a matter of pride and had to be done openly. Today, we are taking our sons to mission hospitals and go for them after they heal," he explains.
This, he adds, is to make sure the youths are ushered into adulthood through the counsel of the clergy as opposed to having them recuperate at home and be recruited into Mungiki.
Central Province Police Boss John Mbijiwe says it is for such reasons that security officers blocked sect members from attending a cultural fete the group had organised.
"They had planned to ‘hold prayers’ at Mt Kenya. In essence, it was a cultural devaluing congregation in the offing," he says.
He explains that it could not be allowed since "the intention and purpose ranged from massive oathing to recruitment".
Police vow to fight
But Njuguna complains that through the instigation of "culturally illiterate personalities" they blocked a noble idea where Gikuyu, Embu and Meru youths wanted to seek divine intervention from Mwene Nyaga (God) believed to reside on Mt Kenya.
Murang’a North DC George Natembeya says Mungiki have no choice but to reform and join the church.
"There are those traditional values that are safe and the Government supports them through the Department of Culture and National Heritage. But when such support is abused to progress criminal and outdated cultural beliefs that devalue the social fabric, we must execute the crackdowns," he says.

"Kenya villagers, gang members clash: 24 killed"

by Tom Odula (AP, April 21, 2009)

Nairobi, Kenya - Villagers in central Kenya clashed with members of an outlawed criminal gang for several hours overnight, killing at least 24 people, police said Tuesday.
Residents near the town of Karatina fought Mungiki members because the gang had been extorting money from them, deputy police spokesman Charles Owino said.
"What I know is that majority of the dead are Mungiki members," Owino told The Associated .
PressMungiki emerged in the 1990s, inspired by the 1950s Mau Mau rebellion against British colonial rule, and the gang has been linked to extortion, murder and political violence. The group is believed to have thousands of followers, drawn from the Kikuyu, Kenya's largest tribe and the dominant force in politics and business.
Besides the dead, three people were seriously injured in the violence and police arrested 37 people, police spokesman Eric Kiraithe said. Police seized machetes, axes and clubs from the suspects, he said.
Residents reacted when Mungiki tried to expel people who came from a neighboring district, Kirinyaga, because members of Mungiki had been lynched in Kirinyaga, Kiraithe said.
Kiraithe urged members of the public to stop "using criminal violence to resist crime."
A Mungiki member told the AP the group had been extorting money from businesses in the area with the full knowledge of the police until Wednesday last week.
Police then switched sides and backed residents, who lynched members of Mungiki, the member said, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals. She did not say why the police turned against them.
Kiraithe said Mungiki members were "trying to justify crime by mudslinging."

"40 Mungiki suspects charged with illegal oathing"

("Kenya Broadcasting Corporation," March 09, 2009)

Nairobi, Kenya - Forty people suspected to be members of the outlawed Mungiki sect were Monday arraigned in Makadara court, Nairobi and charged with taking an illegal oath.
The forty appeared before Makadara Principal Magistrate Elizabeth Ominde and denied the charge before they were released on bonds of 50 thousand shillings each and similar sureties with an option of cash bails of 30 thousand shillings each.
The 40 were arrested following a raid at a house under construction in Dandora estate on Sunday allegedly during an oathing ceremony.
Police intelligence sources indicated that the group had gathered to strategize on a planned demonstration over the whereabouts of the sect's spiritual leader Maina Njenga.
Maina is said to have been transferred from Naivasha prison to an unknown location, a fact that has unsettled the nerves of the outlawed sect members.
The operation coordinated by the BuruBuru police boss Kipkemoi Rop also netted an assortment of the sect paraphernalia.
The arrests come amid renewed mungiki sect activities with Thursdays' demonstration by the sect members paralyzing transport and businesses in several parts of the country.
Meanwhile at the chief magistrate' courts in Nairobi Josmaria Waiganjo Ngige and James Thuo Wakabu denied trafficking 480 kilogram of bhang with an estimated street value of 960 000 shillings.
The two are accused of trafficking the drug on March 6 2009 at Kajiado town in Rift Valley.
They are alleged to have been transporting the drug in a private vehicle when they were nabbed.
They were remanded at the Central police station as investigations continue.
At the same time a case in which former KCB managing director Terry Davidson is charged with irregular trading at the NSE failed to take off because the trial magistrate was not in court.
Davidson has denied irregularly trading with Uchumi Supermarket shares.
The case now proceeds for a full hearing tomorrow.
In December last year the Attorney General appointed a Special prosecutor to try the case where the former CEO has denied charges of insider trading.
Davidson was charged with using insider information to instruct Suntra Investment Bank to acquire for him 664,899 Uchumi shares on December 2, 2005

"Police on high alert over Mungiki protests"

by Bernard Momanyi ("Captial News," March 04, 2009)

Nairobi, Kenya - Security agents were put on high alert on Wednesday following lanned protests by members of the outlawed Mungiki sect.
The demonstrations by the sect members and university students were slated for Thursday and Friday to press for the sacking of Police Commissioner Hussein Ali over his complicity in extra-judicial killings.
“We are mainly concentrating our surveillance in Nairobi, Central Province and parts of Rift Valley. Those are the places where we anticipate trouble,” a senior officer who spoke on condition of anonymity said.
The spokesman of a political wing of the banned sect Njuguna Gitau last week announced plans to stage protests in major towns to press for Ali’s dismissal.
University of Nairobi student’s union chairman Dan Mwangi who addressed a press conference with Mr Gitau said he would also mobilise students to participate in street protests.
Tension was reported to be high in Thika and Murang’a on Wednesday when contingents of police officers from other areas arrived to provide reinforcements there.
In Thika, police conducted a swoop and arrested dozens of matatu operators who were accused of inciting others against police crackdowns.
There were no immediate reports of any charges preferred against them.
Police Spokesman Mr Erick Kiraithe said no grouping had been licensed to carry out any form of demonstrations and warned that action would be taken against any one found contravening the law.
“As far as we are concerned, police have not been notified of any planned demonstrations. The law will have to be followed to the letter,” he said.
The demonstrations were announced after a report released last Wednesday by the UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights Prof Philip Alston called for the sacking of the police commissioner and the resignation of Attorney General Amos Wako.
In his report, Prof Alston accused the police chief of running a death squad which he said was responsible for executing hundreds of young men on suspicion that they were members of the banned sect.
He also accused Mr Wako of having failed to show substantial progress in prosecuting extra-judicial-related cases.
Prof Alston who was in the country at the invitation of the government said he had relied on evidence he received from victims and relatives of the extra-judicial killings and numerous reports filed by human rights organisations
The mosting evidence was received from the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights which had interviewed and recorded a confession of a former police officer who claimed that he had participated in the execution of 58 Mungiki suspects.
“This particular evidence is shocking and does not appear to be a lie. I know how to tell what is true having worked in various countries collecting evidence,” Prof Alston said of the video footage that was widely publicised by both local and international media.

"Mungiki leaders meet UN investigators"

by Cyrus Ombati and Peter Atsiaya ("The Standard," February 23, 2009)

Nairobi, Kenya - The United Nations special team investigating alleged killings by police have met Mungiki sect leaders.
A spokesman of the banned sect on Sunday claimed police have killed more than 1,000 youths since a crackdown on the movement began in June 2006.
Mr Njuguna Gitau took a group of about 200 women, who claimed to be widows, to give evidence to the UN officials at the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights offices in Nairobi.
"The list we have is the one we can claim as evidence, because relatives say they saw their loved ones being arrested before they went missing or their bodies were found dumped in thickets," said Gitau.
Final report
Some of the women said they had not traced the bodies of their missing kin for burial. They said no one in Government was willing to explain the circumstances under which the men died or went missing.
"All I know is that the police played a role in the death of my husband and I want action staken against them," said one of the widows.
Some had pictures of their kin.
The UN Special Rapporteur, Prof Philip Alston, was in Nyeri yesterday to receive evidence over the alleged killings, while his officials were in Nairobi.
Alston said his final report on the findings would be ready in June, but an interim one will be complete by Wednesday.
He said he would give the report to Government, the UN and the international community.
"The final and detailed report on the findings of my investigation will be ready in June," Alston said in Kisumu, at the weekend.
Brutal killings
"The international community was concerned about brutal killings in the country and wanted the report to ascertain the truth behind the executions," he added.
He said he would outline recommendations to end a repeat of such incidents.
He declined to describe his findings, saying he would compare reports from the Government authorities and residents before compiling his own.
Shot dead
Nyanza Province was worst hit by police killings during the post-election violence. Kisumu town bore the brunt of police brutality, with more than 100 people reportedly shot dead.

"Demonstrators accuse police over disappearance of kin"

by Ramadhan Rajab and Cyrus Ombati ("The Standard," February 09, 2009)

Nairobi, Kenya - Angry demonstrators who accused police over the disappearance of their relatives blocked part of the Nakuru-Nairobi highway.
About 100 demonstrators on Sunday claimed police had arrested their kin over accusations that they were followers of the Mungiki sect. They carried banners and demanded an explanation over their missing relatives. Police were forced to use teargas canisters to disperse the .
groupSpeaking to The Standard, Ms Susan Njeri, 65, said she had lost three family members in unclear circumstances. She said on December 26, her son George Kariuki, 30, who owned a phone repair kiosk in Mwiki, Nairobi, was picked up by people she suspected to be policemen and until now she has not seen him. She said Kariuki’s father, Mr Peter Njenga had been following the matter.
"He went to see police in Ruiru, but we have not seen him too," Susan said.
Mr Kamau Kang’ara, director of Oscar Foundation, who led the demonstration, was arrested and later released when local MP Peter Mwathi intervened. Kang’ara claimed tens of youth branded Mungiki had disappeared.
"We have compiled a list of those believed to have been killed by police," he said.
Kiambu OCPD Jay Munyambu, who led the anti-riot police, invited the protestors to his office to discuss the matter. He promised to investigate the allegations.