Members of dreaded militia gang
march through Kenyan streets
AfriqueEnligne - panapress
05. March 2008
Nairobi, Kenya - Hundreds of members of the outlawed
quasi-religious Mungiki sect, stormed the streets of Kenyan
capital here Wednesday, demanding for the immediate release of
their leader, Maina Njenga, who was handed a five year jail
sentence in June last year, after he was found guilty of being in
possession of firearms and administering oaths.
The demonstration coincided with damaging revelations by the
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) that the shadowy gang held
a series of meetings with senior government officials at State
House, to plan revenge attacks against non-Kikuyu ethnic groups
during post-election violence that broke following the disputed
December 2007 election.
Sect members, mainly youth below 37 years, caused panic in the
central business district, where they paralysed business
activities, as security agents that were caught unawares,
attempted to disperse them.
The mid-morning security scare sent residents scampering for
safety, as the youth chanted slogans in support of their leader.
"No Njenga, no peace," the youth, who carried placards chanted,
displaying portraits of their leader, who headed the Mungiki
militia, that was blamed for macabre killings last year and during
the post-election violence.
One youth said they were holding marches through city streets to
compel the government to sit down with the gang in the same manner
it did with the opposition.
"On-going mediation talks mean nothing if our leader will not be
released," he said.
Police shot into the air and lobbed teargas canisters to disperse
the rampaging youth, who repulsed within minutes.
There were no casualties, although there were fears of a
resurgence of violent crime and murders in the city.
According to the late afternoon report aired by the BBC, the
senior members of the Mungiki militia met several times with
senior government officials in the presence of President Mwai
Kibaki after security forces - police, military and intelligence -
appeared to take sides in the dispute in which 1,500 people were
The militia group had been detailed to provide security to members
of the President Kibaki's Kikuyu tribe, the report said, alleging
the opposition too had militia gangs.
In the report, some members of the militia admitted to have
facilitated the ferrying of members of the outlawed gang to commit
murder in Rift Valley Province, which bore the brunt of the
According to the report, Mungiki militiamen still roam Nakuru, the
Rift Valley provincial capital, which is still under dusk-to-dawn
curfew, despite the peace deal hammered between the government and