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Three Mungiki members found murdered

NAIROBI, July 8 – The bodies of three people suspected to be Mungiki sect members, who went missing a week ago, were found dumped in Nairobi’s City Mortuary on Tuesday.

They include that of a matatu driver, his tout and another matatu crew member.

Family members of the deceased said their kin were last seen on June 30 while being arrested by police.

A local newspaper published a photograph on July 1 showing a police officer roughing up the matatu driver, who was identified by his wife Margaret as Peter Maina Wachira.

“I was informed that my husband had been arrested but when I searched all the police stations, I did not find him,” she told Capital News at the City Mortuary.

“A day after my husband’s arrest, I saw a photograph on a local daily showing a police officer arresting and handcuffing him,” she added.

Margaret displayed a copy of The Standard Newspaper of July 1, 2008, showing a police officer struggling to handcuff Wachira.

It is not clear where the man was taken after the arrest.

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When contacted, Police Spokesman Erick Kiraithe said he would not comment on the matter because he had not gathered sufficient information.

“I will comment on the matter once I get full details about it,” he said on telephone.

Records at the City Mortuary indicated that Wachira was taken there by a police officer, who only identified himself as Kirwa.

It was booked in at 5.40 am under registration number PP 2091/08 as an unidentified male adult.

The records showed that the body was picked up by police from Ngong Forest alongside that of another man, identified as a tout who worked with Wachira.

A post-mortem conducted on Wachira’s body by Government Pathologist Dr Peter Ndegwa revealed that the man had died as a result of manual strangulation and torture.

“He had been so badly beaten. I couldn’t identify him from his face, or most of his body. What I did recognise were his legs,” Margaret narrated.

By the time the Capital News crew visited the mortuary, relatives of the tout had not shown up at the morgue.

The body of the third man, who was also booked in as an unidentified male adult, lay unclaimed.

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A mortuary attendant, who pleaded to remain anonymous, said there were 10 other bodies there that had not been identified.

“They were brought here by the police, many of them with bullet wounds but they have never been claimed,” he said.

Wachira’s wife Margaret said she suspects her husband may have been tortured and later executed by the police.

“I suspect they were killed by the police because they (police) were photographed as they hand-cuffed my husband,” she added.

In May, two other officials of the banned Mungiki sect who went missing in February were found dead and their bodies dumped at the Machakos hospital mortuary.

The bodies of Joseph Kariuki Njenga and Eliud Gatundu Maina were found dumped at the mortuary bearing bullet wounds, and family members and other sect officials blamed the police for the killings.

The sect’s Spokesman Njuguna Gitau said they were alarmed by what he termed increased ‘execution-style’ murders by the police.

“What the police are doing is wrong. If they suspect any one of any wrongdoing, they should follow the due process of the law instead of resorting to execute them,” he said.

Police Commissioner Major General Mohammed Hussein Ali has previously maintained his that officers were not involved in the murders.

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