Mungiki are back, with a vengeance

March 25, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 25 – Members of the outlawed Mungiki sect are on the rampage once again, causing mayhem in many parts of the country, mainly Central and Nairobi Provinces.

Lately, they have renewed their merciless attacks on civilians; killing, maiming and beheading.

The recent killings of at least 19 people in Nairobi and Central Kenya are a clear testimony that Mungiki are active in their operations.

“Sympathisers of Mungiki who never often claim they do not know what the gang is doing should now make the right judgements and stop condemning the police,” said Police Spokesman Erick Kiraithe.

“They are back with a bang; it appears they want their presence to be felt. We are receiving many complaints of harassments and killings and that is why we need public support,” he told Capital News when asked to comment of the latest attacks.

And Mr Kiraithe has vowed that police will intensify a crackdown on the sect members regardless of the numerous criticisms from human rights activists and a section of politicians who have often accused the police of ‘executing Mungiki suspects’.

“We do not execute suspects, the police is a professional force which operates within the law,” Mr Kiraithe said.

Police are concerned with a series of killings, mainly targeting officers and 19 people killed in revenge attacks.

A case in point is an attack on a police officer who was shot as he patrolled near Kencom House in Nairobi three weeks ago.

Though witnesses insisted the man was shot by a suspect he had arrested, police maintained it was the work of Mungiki ‘out to provoke them’.

“We believe that this is the work of Mungiki suspects. We have launched investigations and our officers are searching for them,” Mr Kiraithe said in a statement soon after the shooting.

Three days after the Kencom shooting, an Administration Police officer was killed in Majengo slums. Police blamed the killing on members of the illegal gang.

The most horrifying killing lately is that of a police officer formerly attached to Kayole police station who was abducted and later killed.

His mutilated body was found dumped in Emali, about 120km south of the City.

Investigations revealed that the officer was abducted from Kamukunji and driven to Emali where he was tortured and later killed.

Equally, police blamed the death on members of the outlawed Mungiki sect.

Another police officer was shot dead on March 17 by carjackers who were fleeing in a car that had been stolen from Runda estate.

The previous night, three people had been killed in Juja by a gang police linked to the outlawed sect, which they said were out to revenge after the family members refused to give them money.

“The recent spate of incidents is a clear testimony that the gang is back to cause mayhem. We have intensified our search for the gang members to ensure they face the law,” the police spokesman said.

Figures of arrests on suspected Mungiki members were not immediately available, but the Police Spokesman said “arrests are a continuous exercise.”

In Murang’a, seven people including three matatu drivers were separately killed and their bodies dumped on matatu stages at the beginning of March.

The other two were villagers who were either hacked or shot dead, in what police described as revenge killings on people who had defaulted in remitting illegal taxes.

“Two others were suspected Mungiki sect members who were beheaded in what we suspect to be internal wrangles within the sect,” Murang’a South divisional police chief Antony Onyango said of the March 21, incident.

“They were killed after the assailants broke into their houses and slashed them several times. They also beheaded them and then fled,” he added.

Police said one of the victims was killed right outside his doorstep while his colleague was hacked to death in a farm near his house.


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