Three killed as matatu touts clash with ‘Mungiki’

Sunday Nation / The East African (Kenya), Jan. 5, 2003
http://www.nationaudio.com/
By WATORO KAMAU and SIMON SIELE

At least three people were killed yesterday in Nakuru town where a group of matatu (commuter taxi) touts engaged in a day-long fight with members of the banned Mungiki sect.

One sect member was shot dead by police. One, wielding a machette, had attacked an officer. Another Mungiki member was shot by the police but escaped arrest.

The fight took place in Langa Langa and Mwariki estates where matatu touts invaded several houses occupied by Mungiki adherents and set ablaze household goods as their owners fled.

The touts, armed with machettes and clubs, joined police in hunting for the sect members who fled towards Njoro and Free Area in the outskirts of the town.

Transport between the estates and town was disrupted as matatu drivers and touts abandoned their vehicles to pursue the sect members.

The other two dead were touts, whose names were given as Kahiga and Joel. They were attacked at Lake View Estate by members of the Mungiki sect. Kahiga, who had deep machette cuts, died at Nakuru Nursing Home where he was rushed by his colleagues.

The third victim, a member of the Mungiki sect, was killed by the touts at Ndarugu area near the Lake Nakuru National Park perimentre fence as he attempted to flee into the park.

A police officer said 12 Mungiki youths and three touts were arrested and were being held at Bondeni Police Station.

The touts vowed not to allow the sect members to continue manning matatu routes in the town. They urged the government to remove all the Mungiki sect members from routes in order to restore the peace.

On Friday, two Mungiki youths were admitted to hospital after theywere injured by touts in the Free Area Estate.

Matatu touts and drivers went on strike and hunted for the sect members whom they accused of extorting money from them and harassing passengers.

The matatu operators said the sect members previously enjoyed protection from the Kanu government. The sect members manning bus terminuses were collecting between Sh20 and Sh50 from every vehicle.

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