Nairobi – A Kenyan human rights body on Wednesday accused the government of using a murderous sect to protect its supporters with the country reeling from post-election violence that had killed nearly  people.
Head of the state-funded Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, Maina Kiai, said that members of the banned Mungiki, a shadowy gang mainly from President Mwai Kibaki’s Kikuyu tribe, were sought out for protection.
“Our monitors on the ground say that Mungiki members have told them that they have been activated to offer protection to the government supporters,” Kiai said.
Government spokesperson Alfred Mutua dismissed the claim.
Mutua said: “Kiai should shut up or produce the evidence. He should carry out investigations instead of engaging in reckless talk and partisan politics.”
Cops kill dozens of Mungiki members
Most Mungiki members dwell in the Nairobi slums that were the scene of some of the worst rioting after the electoral board on December 30 announced Kibaki the winner of the disputed presidential election.
The Mungiki, once a religious group of dreadlocked youths who embraced traditional rituals, had become a politically linked gang notorious for extortion and murder.
In June, police killed dozens of purported Mungiki members blamed for a wide range of crimes, including grisly beheadings that horrified the nation.
Kenyan opposition chief Raila Odinga’s rejection of the election outcome touched off nationwide rioting that rapidly devolved into bloody tribal vendettas, pitting pro-Odinga and pro-Kibaki communities.
Much of the fighting took place in the Rift Valley province, home to a mosaic of tribes, and known as an “Arc of Fire” owing to repeated tribal fighting during electoral periods.
“Reports from the Rift Valley indicate that the killing was carried out by organised militia,” Kiai said.
Foreign governments had intensified diplomatic efforts in order to keep Kenya from sliding into chaos. The crisis had damaged Kenya’s safe reputation in an unstable region of Africa.