News 2008


Even God killed – Mungiki leader

AfricaNews interviewed Mathenge A.K.A Mnyama, the Mungiki regional coordinator for central Nairobi.

Wednesday 13 February 2008

By Dennis Itumbi, AfricaNews reporter in Nairobi, Kenya

[INTERVIEW] After being hunted down as being an outlawed sect, the Mungiki came back to the Kenyan public arena in January, this time as warriors fighting for president Mwai Kibaki. Since then, their influence and power have been increasing. Hello

Mathenge: Sorry I do not respond to such greetings they have aspects of colonialism which we fought so hard in the Mau Mau period, look at the richness of greetings such as Thaai, or nyororokete (Spelling may be wrong) they represent a wholesome answer. (We skip the introductory section of the interview) When did you join Mungiki?

Mathenge: Eight years ago, then I was a tax collector, but I rose through the ranks. You sound educated. Would you wish to share your academic background

Mathenge: After my high school education in Kangaru and Mangu high School, I joined the University of Nairobi where I did a BA in Philosophy with a bias on (Religious) logic, I then did my Maters Degree at St. Paul’s Theological College in Limuru and specialized in African Theology. So it’s correct to say that you qualify to be an ordained priest?

Mathenge: Sure, but I refuse to be ordained until African Theology takes over. For example ask yourself why do Churches take alcoholic wine and preach against it? Why are we told of vineyards instead of Maize plantations? Instead of pellets church leaders should have bread made from wholesome wheat, Facing Mt. Kirinyaga is a religious concept even Jesus faced the skies…focus is important and Mungiki has a focus Are you involved in the post-election violence?

Mathenge: No we are not, those are just people who are using our name What focus does Mungiki have other than killing people to scare others to do what they want?

Mathenge: First let me warn you that if this interview has to go on you have to ask about facts… Sorry to interrupt but it’s a fact that Mungiki has been killing people, just tell us why?

Mathenge: True we have been killing people but you have to understand us, even God in the Old Testament killed people who did not toe the line of the Law. We have been killing defectors, and those who refuse to pay their dues for our services and that will not stop You are yet to answer why? That is after killing them you lose people who would in future have paid your ‘taxes’

Mathenge: Young man! You do not understand. We do not waste our time. We ask you to pay taxes and if you refuse we act on you. No negotiations, Give unto Ceasar what belongs unto Ceasar… How many people are in Mungiki Countrywide?

Mathenge: We had our last National Convention in April 2007 in Thogoto and we realized we had recruited 45,000 new members we are now about 2.8 million, of course excluding Women and Children. What are the benefits of joining Mungiki

Mathenge: When I come to recruit you I will tell you, we don’t recruit through the media so I won’t answer that question Politicians have been mentioned as being part of this movement what is your reaction?

Mathenge: Sometimes I laugh when I see them denying and laugh more when the media refuses to read in between the lines So you have a chance today, tell me about the politicians involved

Mathenge: I know you are going to interview General (the underground name for Joe Waiganjo the acting leader of the group) so let him tell you, but let me tell you they are many and soon we actually sponsored a few of our members and they are now in parliament so is Mungiki a criminal grouping or is it political?

Mathenge: It is political and religious, look when Jesus came on earth he said he was the King of the Jews that is political, then he said he has come to restore salvation that is religious and that is our mission. You don’t even need to ask that question remember the recent meeting in Michuki’s office? Ask yourself why politicians were meeting? Mungiki appears to be a group of lazy people who do not value the ethics of hard work what’s your reaction?

Mathenge: Lazy? You think it’s easy to raise Shs 2 billion a year? Look at our leadership and members do you see any of them begging? Simple because we do not use a microphone like you does not mean we are lazy we are very hard working, we patrol estates and keep security, arrest pick-pockets, settle cases of marital consequences, buy food for those who cannot afford, In Kiambu for example we run 4 children homes. You still call us lazy? It is you who are lazy, your job is solely to follow people If you are so brutal on defectors why have you not killed Waruinge and he has publicly said he has defected or even Maina Njenga who has even been baptized?

Mathenge: They are alive because we know they have not moved, there are clear structures on how resignations of top leaders are handled, look they were once Muslims remember that conversion? Now they are Christians, maybe tomorrow they will be Hindu but the bottom line is that they are still part of us Final Question, if you became the President or the Minister for Internal Security how would you fight Mungiki?

Mathenge: I would adopt them as a crucial part of the economy.. Thank You we will be back with questions from Kenyans who have questions..

Mathenge: I will give you my email address, I check it on Wednesdays.