A-G Orders Arrest of Mungiki Followers

The East African Standard (Kenya), Aug. 22, 2002
http://allafrica.com/stories/200208220159.html

Attorney-General Amos Wako yesterday ordered police to arrest and prosecute the people who took part in Tuesday’s demonstration organised by the proscribed Mungiki sect.

Wako said Mungiki is among the 18 outlawed organisations and accused the police of negligence in carrying out their duties.

“For the police and law enforcement to stand by and witness offences being committed is a dereliction of their duties,” Wako said.

He said the Mungiki movement together with 17 others were outlawed on March 15 this year through Legal Notice Number 42 in the Kenya Gazette.

Wako said the Legal Notice means that Mungiki together with 17 others are dangerous to the good government of the Republic of Kenya.

A special issue of the Kenya Gazette supplement number 20 of March 15, 2002, by the Minister of State in the Office of the President in-charge of internal security, Mr Julius Sunkuli, outlawed 18 vigilante groups under section 4(1) (ii) of the Societies Act.

The groups were named as Mungiki, Jeshi la Mzee, Jeshi la Embakasi, Jeshi la King’ole, Baghdad boys, Chinkororo, Amachuma, Banyamulenge, Talibans, Dallas Muslim youth, Runyenjes Football club, Kaya Bombo youth, Sakina youth, Charo Shutu, Kuzacha, Kamjeshi, Jeshi la Nazir and Kosovo boys.

Yesterday, Wako said: “In law the said societies became unlawful, consequently, criminal offences are committed by any person who manages or assists the management of the said unlawful societies,” said Wako.

“Any person who is a member, or attends or allows a meeting of the said unlawful societies, incites or assists such proscribed societies to engage in any activity is committing an offence,” he added.

In a hard-hitting statement, Wako said it is duty of the police and other law enforcement to prevent and detect crime.

He said the police are supposed to apprehend the offenders where crime has been committed and enforce the law.

“I therefore call upon the police and other law enforcement officers to ensure that they take timely and effective action when any of the unlawful societies engage in activities of any kind”.

Wako said Kenyans have a constitutional right to support a candidate of their choice and to hold peaceful demostrations. He, however, pointed out that it is a criminal offence to abet a proscribed organisation.

“To exercise these rights as members of an unlawful societies is to commit offences for which they will be apprehended, tried, convicted and punished in accordance with the law,” he added.

In a separate interview, Spokesman Peter Kimanthi said the police will investigate the circumstances under which the demonstration took place and those found guilty will be arrested and prosecuted. He said that Mayor Dick Waweru applied for a notification from the police to hold a demonstration which he was issued with, adding that if other groups hijacked it, the police are yet to investigate.

Kimanthi said that there are laws to be followed when people want to hold such activities, in which case the Mayor met and was allowed to hold a demonstration within the city.

He said the mayor will be charged because him together with Mungiki leaders Ndura Waruinge and Maina Njenga and others committed an offence contrary to law. However, the Nairobi Provincial Police Officer (PPO) Stephen Kimenchu said the police could not act because they were out-numbered by the demonstrators.

Elsewhere, legislators William ole Ntimama and Shem Ochuodho condemned the demonstration by Mungiki people, saying they made very dangerous threats, reports Ochieng’ Ogodo.

Ntimama said it was a move in the wrong direction as inciting tribal animosity may lead to a volatile situation that those who are masterminding may not be able to control.

He said Molo MP Kihika Kimani and Juja MP Stephen Ndichu were setting Kenyans against one another and should be stopped as this may result in serious lawlessness.

“Setting Mungiki sect members against other Kenyans will affect the whole country. It will boomerang to all corners of the country and every body will be affected,” Ntimama said.

Ochuodho said the incident could be a prelude to the tribal clashes like those that claimed the lives of hundreds, left scores maimed and displaced thousands before the general elections of 1992 and 1997.

He said Ndichu and Kihika should be interrogated thoroughly to unravel the mystery behind Mungiki so that the thuggery its members have been committing is not repeated.
[…]

However, two Members of Parliament from Thika District yesterday came out in support of the Mungiki march in support of Mr Uhuru Kenyatta, adds Eliud Miring’uh.

Gatanga MP David Murathe and Ndichu said the sect members demonstrated a high degree of discipline because they did not destroy property, or harass pedestrians and motorists.

But Kasarani MP Adolf Muchiri and his Embakasi counterpart, Mr David Mwenje, said the demo was in bad taste because the Government has already banned the sect, along with 17 others.

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