NAIROBI, July 23 – Parliament on Wednesday constituted a Select Committee to investigate membership and organisation of unlawful gangs in the country.,
The 15-member Committee to be chaired by Ndaragua Member of Parliament (MP) Jeremiah Kioni would be expected to table a report to the House within eight months.
Some of the proscribed groups include; Mungiki, Chinkororo, Kamjesh, Sungu Sungu and Sabaot Land Defence Force among others.
Kioni, who introduced the motion to the House, said it was important to arrest the situation since the groups drew their membership from the youth.
He further told the House that the groups had been blamed for loss of lives, destruction of property and other unlawful practices.
"We are aware that that their activities have led to unmitigated loss of lives, properties and livelihoods," he noted.
Kioni also said his idea of forming a Committee was engineered by the government’s failure to successfully crack down on the unlawful groups.
MPs unanimously supported the motion and urged the Committee to identify the root cause of the illegal groups and give recommendations for implementation.
Maragua legislator Elias Mbau said young people join the groups due to frustrations mainly caused by unemployment.
He claimed that for a long time, before the introduction of the Youth Fund, young people were ignored and the only way they could air their grievances was through illegal means.
Garsen MP Danson Mungatana called for a further probe on politicians, pointing out that such gangs only became active just before and after elections.
The MP however expressed doubts that a thorough investigation would be carried out since some of people linked with the groups hold powerful positions in the country.
"How comes these groups arise during election times, what’s the role of some politicians in organising these groups?" he wondered.
Mungatana appealed to the Committee to summon all culprits including those occupying powerful offices.
Committee member Rachael Shebesh said the team would be open to dialogue with members of the illegal groups to facilitate understanding, rehabilitation and reconciliation.
She also pushed for amendments to ensure the Committee was composed of members from all regions.
"The committee will be the bridge, let them give us a chance to help them cross from the unlawful to the lawful side, for a long time they have been frustrated".
She further said the police should to stop arrests and killings of suspected gang members to facilitate smooth investigations.
1. Yatta MP Charles Kilonzo
2. Belgut MP David Koech
3. Saboti MP Eugene Wamalwa
4. Maragua MP Elias Mbau
5. Kitui South MP Isaac Muoki
6. Mathioya MP Clement Wambugu
7. Nominated MP George Nyamwea
8. Kangundo Mp Johnstone Muthama
9. Kabete MP Lewis Nguyai
10. Turkana Central MP Ekwe Ethuro
11. Kiharu MP Mwangi Muturi
12. Nominated MP Rachel Shebesh
13. Nominated MP Millie Odhiambo
14. Kaloleni MP Kambi Kazungu