, NAIROBI, Kenya Apr 23 – Former Mungiki leader Maina Njenga has been summoned by the Criminal Investigations Department following chaos at a church in Nairobi on Sunday, when his supporters assaulted police officers.
Detectives at the Kasarani police station said they wanted Njenga to record a statement on what transpired when church members beat up police officers who had responded to a distress call.
“We want to talk to him to know what happened because he was there. This is part of the investigation because the crime committed is serious,” a senior police officer said.
Police said they will also interrogate several other members of the church to determine if they were criminally responsible for the assault at the Hope International church in Garden estate.
At least three officers were beaten up and their weapons seized by youths, moments after they were called in to arrest a man who had been spotted with a pistol in the church.
The man had told the congregation that there was a plot to assassinate Njenga, but the crowd got agitated when they realised he had a gun.
Kasarani police Chief Augustine Thumbi said the crowd went on to attack officers he had dispatched there, on claims that “they too were on a mission.”
The armed man and some of the youths were later arrested by the police and are being held at the Kasarani and Muthaiga police stations.
Several police officers were roughed up, three of them seriously during the incident.
Last week, police broke up a meeting Njenga was planning to attend at the Jumuiya conference centre in Limuru, sparking outrage from a section of leaders – including Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
Dozens of youths at the Limuru meeting and officers sustained injuries after anti-riot police lobbed teargas canisters at the group, triggering commotion that lasted hours as the youths engaged the officers in running battles.
While Odinga argues that police were not justified to break up the meeting, Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere has said they were acting on intelligence information that Mungiki youths were there to re-launch the outlawed sect.
The meeting dubbed Limuru 2B was to be addressed by among others Archbishop David Gitari and lawyer Paul Muite among others.
Organisers of the meeting insist it was a peace forum.
The meeting was intended to counter an earlier one held by Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta who was installed as the GEMA leader.