Body Parts Found At Mungiki Camp

It was a grisly scene; human body parts next to a blackened pot, raw blood sprinkled on a dusty floor and a skinned carcass of a goat.

The items, found inside a house where 12 Mungiki suspects were shot dead in Murang’a on Sunday, offer spine-chilling insights into oathing ceremonies conducted by the killer gang.

They seem to confirm the myth that the gang, which first appeared as an anti-Christian sect in the early 1990s, uses human sacrifice in its rituals.

A Bible was also found in the rusty tin-roofed house in Gaite Village in Kangema, but had the New Testament pages torn off.

Police are now probing whether body parts of people dismembered by the Mungiki suspect, recently, may have ended up in such gruesome rituals.

Central Provincial Police Officer, Mr Philip Ndwiga, said they found human hands, fingers and other paraphernalia, which the sect uses while administering oath.

Police also found a man’s private parts and a bowl filled with blood.

“We suspect they are parts of the bodies of their victims,” said the PPO.

“We do not know what they use the human body parts for. It is a mystery, which we are yet to unravel. We do not know whether they drink it (human blood),” he said.

In the last two months, Mungiki suspects have beheaded more than 10 people in Nairobi and Central provinces.

A witness to the Sunday incident said the gang members performed traditional rituals, ostensibly, to bind them to the group.

They first surrounded the goat while chanting prayers, and then skinned it alive, he said, explaining he was watching the startling rituals from a nearby thicket.

“I saw them move out of the house, squat in a circle, all facing the black goat and they started praying,” he added.

He said the initiates, led by an elderly man, then trooped back to the house in a queue, led by the goat, which is preserved as a sacrifice.

The initiates were then made to jump at the entrance of the house.

“The exercise was too baffling such that at one point I had to pray, not sure what I was watching was real,” he said.

He said that a few days before the Sunday incident, he met the man hosting the event, Gachiengo Mwangi, 25, taking home the black goat from the market.

He said the animal was skinned alive.

“The goat was bleating out of pain for about half an hour but the more it did, the louder they sang,” he told The Standard.

Among the group were three women soloists, said the witness.

When police burst into the house after a tip-off, they found boiling concoctions that included cooked and raw meat mixed with blood and herbs.

The presence of a man’s private parts compounded the mystery surrounding the sect’s rituals, with police and the witness saying it appeared like it was part of what was being eaten.

Next to the sufuria (aluminium pot), was a sack of raw goatskin cut into pieces.

There was also a plastic container which had uncooked intestines, animal’s private parts and more boiled herbs.

Just two weeks ago in Maragua, police stumbled upon Mungiki suspects in an oathing ceremony where they also found a man’s private parts.

Last month, Mungiki adherents killed two assistant chiefs one in President Kibaki’s Othaya constituency, and another one in Internal Security minister, Mr John Michuki’s Kangema constituency.

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog)
The Standard, Kenya
July 4, 2007

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This post was last updated: Jul. 4, 2007