Security minister John Michuki has personally attested to the bizarre rituals administered on Mungiki adherents, to bind them and ensure they executed the outlawed sect’s reign of terror.
“It is evident that after they kill, they drink human blood as an element of oathing,” the Internal Security minister told a shocked congregation yesterday.
Speaking at Kiamara Catholic Church in his Kangema Constituency, the minister recounted how sect members drank the blood of beheaded victims ostensibly to bond them.
Michuki’s startling revelation came the same day our sister paper, The Sunday Standard, exclusively published details of the sect’s seven-step oath that has all the hallmarks of a secret society.
The fourth allows one to hold the gun and kill — and all end with the words: “May I die if I desert or reveal our secret.”
“Parents should also be more inquisitive and stop defending their children each time the police arrest these youths,” Michuki — who spoke in Kikuyu — urged, reinforcing the belief that Mungiki (Agikuyu word for a crowd) was not only a murderous outfit but also a sect whose members were deeply entrenched in ritualistic activities.
Police holding 84 suspects
On Sunday, police announced they were holding 84 suspects in connection with the bizarre killing of a driver and a tout in Maragua, as the sect defied a Presidential edict and continued with its rampage.
Police also said they were questioning 16 others in connection with the killing of five people in Kangema and Othaya constituencies on Thursday.
An Administration Police officer attached to the Mukangu Chief’s Camp was among suspects arrested in connection to the Githiga village incident where a chief, his mother, elder brother and a nephew were shot dead, Michuki said.
First Lady Lucy Kibaki joined in the Mungiki outrage on Sunday, reading a political agenda aimed to discredit the Government.
“When we near General Elections, there are always some people who incite our boys to win votes and victory. Daily, we hear reports of people being killed not only in Central Province, but all over,” the First Lady told a fundraising meeting at the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA), Kiambu.
Urgent need to tackle the menace
Seven years ago, self-confessed Mungiki leader Mr Ndura Waruinge, who has since renounced the proscribed sect, confessed that the movement practiced rituals that “blended Christian teachings with traditional African worship practice.”
Michuki’s revelation that Mungiki gangs drink human blood as a bonding ritual underlined the urgency with which the Government ought to tackle the menace.
One intriguing practice that Waruinge spoke about in an interview with The Sunday Standard in 2000 was a ritual called baptism by water and fire, which not only served to step up the spiritual fervour of adherents but also to initiate new members.
The recruit passes through a billow of incense, according to Waruinge, then is “blessed” with mixed olive, coconut and clove stem oil.
On the eve of Madaraka day, gunmen suspected to be linked to the outlawed sect killed five people, among them two assistant chiefs in President Kibaki’s Othaya Constituency and in Michuki’s constituency.
Angry reaction from the President
This prompted an angry reaction from the President in his Madaraka Day speech, who warned murderers that they would be dealt with firmly.
“There is no way, as a Kenyan, that you can have a right to kill another Kenyan; If you do so, we will get you no matter where you hide, and you will be killed,” he said in his address to the nation.
On Sunday, Michuki reiterated the Government’s hard stance on the outlawed sect, saying its strength could not match that of the State.
“Those who want to challenge the Government know that they are just a drop in the ocean compared to the country’s 33 million people,” Michuki said as he announced security had been beefed up in the affected areas.
The minister clarified that no rotting body was on Friday found near any of his property as reported in the Saturday papers.
June 4, 2007
Boniface Gikandi, Cyrus Ombati and Elizabeth Mwai