Kenya sect leader freed

October 23, 2009 12:00 am

, NYERI, Kenya, Oct 23 – Mungiki leader Maina Njenga who had been charged with the murder of 29 people in May this year was set free early on Friday.

His lawyer Paul Muite said: “Njenga was set free by a Nyeri court after the Attorney General entered a nolle prosequi in the case. Which means the prosecution was not willing to proceed with the case.”

“As we speak now, my client is a free man and he is on the way to Nairobi. He was set free alongside 21 other co-accused in the case,” Mr Muite said when reached on telephone. 

Mungiki Spokesman Njuguna Gitau said: “We are very happy because the chairman has been released; he is finally free after suffering for a long time.”

“He was innocent, he did not commit the charges they preferred against him,” he added.
Mr Njenga was re-arrested on April 27 moments after he was released by the High Court in Nairobi following a successful appeal against a five-year jail term for alleged illegal possession of a firearm and marijuana.

When police re-arrested him, they accused him of “personally ordering the massacre of 29 people in Karatina, Nyeri district by members of the proscribed sect in reprisal attacks on members of vigilante groups.”

Mr Njenga had earlier objected to the murder charges and even refused to plead to charges before the Nyeri High Court. Justice Joseph Sergon recorded a plea of not guilty for Njenga after his co-accused denied the charges. Mr Njenga through his lawyer Robert Asembo said the murder charges were a fabrication since he was in Mombasa prison when the alleged offence was committed.

He also informed the court that he filed a constitutional reference before the High Court in Nairobi and urged the court to suspend the case until the reference in Nairobi is finalised.


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