Mungiki demand leader’s release
Story by FRED MUKINDA
06. March 2008
Thousands of Mungiki sect members swarmed city streets Wednesday,
calling for the release of their leader, Maina Njenga from prison.
Members of the outlawed Mungiki
sect pour on to the streets of Nairobi yesterday, demanding
the release of their leader, Maina Njenga. Photos/CHRIS
The Mungiki youths marched
through the city streets before the police dispersed them.
They moved from one street to another for more than thirty
minutes before police dispersed them.
They had earlier marched past the police headquarters at
Vigilance House and on past Parliament buildings.
Business was disrupted in parts of
the city centre when police lobbed tear gas canisters at the rowdy
youths, causing the demonstrators and pedestrians to scamper for
The demonstration started at 9.30am and was quickly quashed. The
protesters left behind literature associated with the outlawed
sect scattered in the city streets.
The demonstrators, most of them youths, displayed placards showing
Njenga in handcuffs with prison guards by his side. They demanded
that he be released unconditionally while shouting, “No Maina, no
Njenga was arrested at his home in Ngong in 2005 and later jailed
for five years for being in possession of an illegal gun.
Wednesday’s procession started on Ladhies Road and moved to Tom
Mboya Street, then Moi Avenue before entering the city centre.
Police said they had not realised that the demonstrators had
trickled into the city. They only learnt of their presence when
the procession started, they said.
Officers also said they did not arrest anybody as they dispersed
According to the police, the demonstrators may have streamed into
town one by one, probably using matatus before converging on
Detectives immediately started investigations to establish how the
demonstration had been organised and where they had come from.
The protesters proceeded into Kimathi Street, Kenyatta Avenue,
then Muindi Mbingu street.
Among the placards carried by the group were some that accused the
Government of killing 4,500 youths. They were referring to the
five-month anti-Mungiki operation launched in July last year.
In statements they dropped on the streets, they described the
crackdown as genocide and demanded restitution.
A copy of the statement obtained by the Nation also demanded that
former Internal Security minister John Michuki explain the
whereabouts of “2,000 missing persons”, including Mr Kimani Ruo,
whose case is pending in court.
The statement, however, claimed the outlawed outfit had changed
its name from “Mungiki Movement” to “the Kenya National Youth
In the past, police have raided Mungiki hideouts in city slums as
well as in Kitengela and Ngong and recovered documents bearing the
logo and colours of the Kenya National Youth Alliance which claims
to be a political party.
Police launched a crackdown against the sect members last year
after the group was accused of being behind killings in parts of
Central Province and Nairobi.
The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights later protested
against the extra-judicial killings of suspects linked to the sect.