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Mungiki sect disbanded, leaders claim

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 29 – The top leadership of the dreaded Mungiki criminal outfit now claims the organisation has been disbanded.

Spokesman Njuguna Gitau said:  "We want the general public and the government and particularly the police to know that Mungiki no longer exists, he said.

He said the outfit had now been transformed into a political party and appealed all its nearly five million members to publicly denounce the sect that has been previously accused of bizarre killings characterised by beheadings and lately, kidnappings.

"We are now members of the Kenya National Youth Alliance (KENYA). This is a political party like any other, Mr Gitau stated.

He urged Kenyans to stop living in fear and assured the public that its members had been urged to embrace Christianity.

"People should stop living under the threat of a ghost known as Mungiki.  Mungiki no longer exists. Let the police, and other security forces and Provincial Administration take charge of the country’s security and ensure there is peace throughout the nation, he said.

"Even the people of Kirinyaga and Mathira should stop living in fear of reports that Mungiki is planning retaliation over the killing of two Mungiki suspects. There is nothing called Mungiki now. It is a ghost and it does not exist," he vowed.

He urged religious leaders throughout the country to help former members of Mungiki to embrace Christianity.

"Even our chairman Maina Njenga has been converted to Christianity, ours is now a political party and we are ready to accommodate all the people in our party," he said but did not reveal if they planned to sponsor candidates for the 2012 General Elections.

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"Young people especially from Nairobi and Central and the Rift Valley should no longer be labelled as Mungiki.  Mungiki does not exist," he said on telephone.

Last week, Mungiki leader Maina Njenga was released from prison after the State dropped murder charges he faced over the killing of 29 people who were massacred in Mathira in April.

He was acquitted alongside 21 of his co-accused following instructions from Attorney General Amos Wako who terminated the case before a Nyeri court.

Mr Njenga has since announced he is saved and plans to be baptised soon.

Mr Njenga and his spokesman appealed to the police to produce six suspected members of the Mungiki who were arrested on Tuesday and have since gone missing.

They said the men were arrested in Nairobi’s Dandora and Kayole estates on suspicion of involvement of criminal activities.

"The six young men were arrested and have not been found, we are calling on the Police Commissioner to intervene and reign in these rogue police officers who are still arresting people for nothing," he said.

He added: "We don’t want a situation like we had before where young men were arrested, disappeared and were later found murdered," he said.

Over the past five years, up to 2,000 young men believed to be Mungiki members have disappeared mysteriously while others have been found murdered and their bodies dumped in forests and mortuaries in Nairobi, Central and Eastern Provinces, according to statistics by human rights organisations.

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