Mungiki attacks condemned

April 16, 2008 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, April 15 – Internal Security Minister Professor George Saitoti came under pressure on Tuesday to explain the Mungiki menace that had seen more than 18 people getting killed in two days.

14 people died in various parts of the country on Monday after members of the outlawed Mungiki sect staged violent protests that started in the wee hours of the morning, to protest the killing of their founding chairman Maina Njenga’s wife.

On Tuesday renewed attacks claimed the lives of four people, and Mutito Member of Parliament (MP) Kiema Kilonzo demanded at the floor of the House for a ministerial statement from Saitoti.

He wanted the Minister to explain why the gang had been left to kill people and destroy property, holding the country hostage in the process.

Saitoti was not in the House to respond but Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka said a statement would be issued on Wednesday.

Public Service Vehicle owners were reluctant to put their cars on the road Tuesday morning, after more than 30 vehicles were burnt crisp by the outlaws a day before.

Residents of several estates in Nairobi were stranded and forced to trudge long distances to the office.

There was heavy police in several trouble spots across the city, where the Mungiki caused mayhem on Monday.

Tuesday’s casualties included three suspected sect members who were felled by police officers in Industrial area and Thika, plus one civilian who was hacked to death and set ablaze at a garage in Ngara – along with nine vehicles.

At 9am, a Kenya Bus Service (KBS) bus was hijacked and petrol-bombed by four suspected sect adherent at the Kenyatta Market, according to witnesses.

“They forced the driver of the empty bus out, drove it a little, then got off and petrol bombed it. It lit up in flames then travelled on free gear and rammed into my kiosk,” a vendor told Capital News.

In Central Province meanwhile, the dreaded sect members took control over several towns ordering businesses shut and warning traders that they would be killed if they dared open shop.

The usually busy Murang’a, Maragwa, Kangema, Sabasaba, Kangari and Kennol, were deserted almost the entire day Tuesday.

The warnings came in the form of leaflets posted on the doors of the business premises.

Area District Commissioners Ken Lusaka and Dr Maalim Mohammed urged citizens to rest assured that security forces were in control.

Early on Tuesday members of the sect had barricaded the Sagana-Murang’a Road but police managed to calm the situation.

The law enforcers were forced to shoot in the air to disperse the youth, who had logs and boulders ready to block another section of the busy road.

Newly appointed Public Health and Sanitation Minister Beth Mugo condemned the Mungiki sponsored violence and called for speedy investigations into the violence and the killing of Njenga’s wife.

Taking her office at Afya House, Mugo said the violence had come at a time when the country was on the reconciliation path following weeks of post elections violence that left close to 1,000 people dead.

Mugo said: “It is time to rebuild. The economy has to start growing again and when there is more destruction we all shall suffer.”


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