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Govt goes for Mungiki jugular

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 29 – The Government announced on Wednesday that it had launched a major security operation targeting the top leadership of the outlawed Mungiki gang, which will see all its officials arrested and prosecuted.

Internal Security Minister Professor George Saitoti said police are under instruction to round up all the sect leaders in a bid to destroy their hierarchical structure as seen in Tuesday’s arrest of their founder Maina Njenga.

On Wednesday, Prof Saitoti summoned all the MPs from the Mungiki prone areas of Rift Valley, Nairobi and Central Kenya to help chart the way forward in finding a permanent end to the Mungiki menace that is threatening to get out of control on the part of the security forces.

“This is just one of the resolutions that has been reached. The Mungiki structure has to be destroyed and its leadership apprehended for prosecution in accordance with the law,” he told reporters shortly after the meeting that brought together 25 Members of Parliament.

The meeting held at the Minister’s Harambee House office was also attended by Internal Security Permanent Secretary Francis Kimemia, Central Provincial Commissioner Japhter Rugut and the Ministry’s Administrative Secretary Kenneth Lusaka.

Other resolutions included commencing investigations on all leaders said to have links, have benefited or funded Mungiki activities with a view of naming and shaming them.

“Apart from just naming and shaming them, we will have them arrested and prosecuted. This will have to happen to serve as an example to other leaders,” Prof Saitoti said.

The Minister did not however, disclose when leaders associated with the Mungiki would be named or the mechanisms or procedures that would be used in the exercise, as well as when they will be known, only saying ‘it will be very soon.’
Mathira MP Engineer Ephraim Maina in whose constituency the recent killings of 29 people occurred said that they were opposed to the blanket condemnation where politicians are linked to the outlawed sect.

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“We are going to work together in the new war launched against Mungiki. And for those who do not know the magnitude of the mayhem this group is causing, they are welcome to Kirinyaga and Karatina tomorrow (Thursday) and on Friday to witness the burials of 29 people killed a week ago,” he said.

Ndia legislator Robinson Njeru Githae lauded the new government initiative and assured of his maximum support.

“We will work together as local leaders because we are determined to win in this war,” he said.

Other legislators who attended the meeting included Ferdinand Waititu of Embakasi, Dagoretti’s Beth Mugo, and Jeremiah Kioni of Ndaragwa among others.

Professor Saitoti who chaired the meeting told journalists that even police officers thought to have links or were abetting the criminal activities of the outlawed gang would be investigated and subsequently prosecuted.

He warned the public and unnamed leaders against issuing blanket statements implicating the police department as accomplices of the Mungiki, who are lately emerging as a killer gang.

Using the United Nations Special Rapporteur Professor Philip Alston as the entry point for his defence, the Minister said some leaders both locally and internationally had gone to an extent of glorifying the gang and attempting to legitimise their activities by condemning the police whenever they launch security operations against it.

“I am very particular on the Prof Alston report because since the time he issued his report, the gang members have appeared to re-emerge and in the end causing mayhem all over. It is like they felt their activities are legitimate,” the Minister said and vowed once again to dismantle the gang.

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