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DC rescues Nyanja from lynching

Sunday Standard, Kenya
Sep. 21, 2003
Thuo Gitu
www.eastandard.net

ReligionNewsBlog.com • Tuesday September 23, 2003

Kiambu District Commissioner James Waweru yesterday rescued former Limuru MP George Nyanja from an irate crowd which was baying for his blood.

The incident took place at Kamirithu, near Limuru, after Nyanja attempted to deny having invited Mungiki sect members to a meeting there last Sunday.

The crowd claimed he had invited the outlawed sect’s adherents to intimidate the residents for having rejected him during the last General Election.

Waweru, area MP Kuria Kanyingi and local District Officer Isaac Masinde had to shield Nyanja from the crowd when he further claimed that goons had been hired to heckle him.

Nyanja said he did not see any Mungiki followers during last Sunday’s meeting.

Angry residents surged forward, cursing him, and the DO took the microphone from Nyanja as Kanyingi and the DC attempted to cool down the mob.

The meeting, held at Kamirithu trading centre, had been convened by the DC to ease tension which has been building up since last Sunday when Mungiki followers attended a meeting organised by Nyanja and addressed by MPs Koigi Wamwere and Peter Munya.

The urgently convened security meeting was to spell out the Government’s stand on the Mungiki issue and assure the residents of their security.

Nyanja’s troubles started soon after the DC called him to defend himself against accusations of agitating for female circumcision.

As soon as he stood to address the public, the crowd started to heckle, hurling abuses while calling him ‘Mungiki warlord’.

The crowd turned hostile, threatening to lynch Nyanja, forcing the DO and the security personnel to form a human shield around him.

A shaken Nyanja called for protection from the DC to enable him address the crowd but Waweru retorted: “They have rejected you and I won’t let them lynch you Mheshimiwa. Cool down as we watch over your safety.”

Kanyingi told the crowd to forgive Nyanja. He termed as archaic a call by any leader to ‘mutilate’ women.

Civic leaders led by Councillor Alice Kiongo and Deputy Mayor Peter Njuguna demanded to know whether the Government had legalised Mungiki and female circumcision.

Kiambu District DP chairman Munyua Waiyaki said last Sunday’s meeting had embarrassed the government.

The DC warned that Mungiki remained outlawed and told police to arrest its sympathisers.

He said his security team had grilled Nyanja over his association with the sect and ordered him to attend yesterday’s meeting to seek public forgiveness.

The DC announced that last Sunday’s meeting was not licensed and assured the women of their safety.

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