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Villagers lynch freed Mungiki men

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 26 – Two men who were freed on Friday with Mungiki leader Maina Njenga over Mathira massacre have been lynched in Karatina.

A vigilante group angered by their release ambushed the two and hacked them to death early on Monday, barely three days after they were set free by a Nyeri court.

They were released on Friday alongside sect leader Maina Njenga after the Attorney General terminated charges against them over the Mathira massacre where some 29 people were killed in April.

Police have launched an investigation into the incident which is likely to spark off another round of violence should the sect followers plan to avenge the killings.

More than 29 villagers were killed on the night of April 20 when Mungiki youth ambushed a neighbourhood vigilante that had been formed to counter the illegal sect’s extortions.

The April killings followed weeks of tension, mainly in Kirinyaga and Karatina districts where 15 suspected Mungiki sect members had been stoned or burnt to death by residents tired of their extortion and harassment.

It is this operation that angered Mungiki sect members who then re-grouped and duped some of the vigilantes that Mungiki were to strike on that fateful night.

Unaware that Mungiki were on a killing mission mainly targeting them, the vigilantes came out in large numbers only to be attacked by the vicious sect members who were hiding in tea bushes.

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21 people were arrested and charged with the murders, and Mr Njenga was enjoined in their case later.
They were all released on Friday when the Attorney General entered a nolle prosequi in the case, indicating that he was not willing to proceed with the charges.
On Sunday Mr Njenga beseeched his cult followers to be ambassadors of peace, and change their wayward habits.

Mr Njenga said that the sect had been associated with various criminal activities in the country and it was time to change that image.

“Not even one of our followers will remain, we will all get saved,” he said as he promised to ensure they (followers) all got Bibles, a far cry from the pangas they are known to wield.

Speaking at the Jesus is Alive Church Ministries where he accepted Christianity; Mr Njenga said his salvation was not political but a sincere search for God and added that being in prison had saved his soul.

“I am now saved and Jesus is my saviour. There are four people who died in an accident on their way to visit me in Naivasha GK prison and now that I am saved, the burial will be conducted by the church,” he said.

“The Bishop (Margaret Wanjiru) will now organise when this will be done,” Mr Njenga added.

He also said he and his followers would be baptised in the church on a later date.

“I will now be a church elder and the Bishop will tell me what activities she wants me to get involved in; even if it is ushering I am ready,” he said.

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