Probe Mungiki death, Kenya rights body says

November 6, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 6 – The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights is demanding answers into Thursday’s murder of Mungiki spokesman Njuguna Gitau.

The Commission on Friday demanded a full investigation into the killing, which it termed as ‘an assassination’. Vice Chairman Hassan Omar Hassan said that Mr Gitau had expressed concerns over threats to his life from the police.

“He came to our offices on October 16 and reported the threats to us but since I was on my way out we did not have a chance to discuss the matter in detail,” he said.

“A planned meeting never happened.”

Mr Omar said the murder underscores the level of insecurity in the country and pledged that his Commission would be following up the matter to ensure the murder is investigated.

“We shall progress to see whether we can document the circumstances of his death because this is the best weapon for accountability is documentation,” he said.

Mr Gitau was shot in the head on Nairobi’s Luthuli Avenue, according to witnesses at the scene. They said he had been walking on the street with four men when an argument broke out.  Two of them drew pistols and shot him before the attackers fled the scene.

Mr Gitau was in charge of the Kenya National Youth Alliance which is the political wing of the Mungiki. His death came barely two days after the leader of the outlawed sect Maina Njenga claimed his life (Njenga’s) was in danger.

Witnesses said he was seen arguing with four men before two of them drew pistols and shot him in the chest.

“I saw a commotion and I thought they were city council askaris. The one who was shot tried to cling to a door and started screaming. Two of them shot him in the chest while the other two shot in the air to scare away people,” a witness said.

Another witness told Capital News that he saw the four men argue but before he could even comprehend what was happening, he heard gunshots and later saw the man (Gitau) lying dead.

“I heard him pleading with the four men:  “Please don’t kill me…. then suddenly gunshots rent the air. He was shot three times,” the witness said.

Central Divisional Police chief Richard Muguai who led a team of officers to the scene said they have launched investigations into the killing.


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