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How Mungiki trains killers

East African Standard, Kenya
Mar. 8, 2004
Evelyn Kwamboka • Monday March 8, 2004

There is a killer Mungiki unit and it is among the highest organs in the hierarchy of the outlawed sect.

Those who graduate into the squad are known in the Mungiki fraternity as members of the bagation squad.

The word bagation, police sources reveal, is a corruption or contraction of the words “no bargain over death”.

And police told the East African Standard that they have confirmed that at least 50 young people have graduated into the death squad in Nairobi since January.

The young people, in their teens and early 20s, paid a sum of between Sh1,200 and Sh1,800 before they could pass out as members of the bagation unit.

Police appeared puzzled that the graduands would be required to pay that money to be initiated into the business of killing people.

And now police believe that it is members of the bagation unit who have been used by Mungiki to murder or execute their adversaries in the country.

“When ordered by their leaders to kill so and so, they do it because of the oath taken during graduation,” police sources said.

They said police were holding some sect members who were found taking the bagation oath at a slum behind Riverside Hotel in Nairobis River Road area.

Police also confiscated several certificates that were to be issued to the graduands after the oath.

“We arrested nine people whom we found taking the oath on February 29,” the sources said.

Last night Nairobi police appealed to parents to closely monitor the activities of their children and inform them should they have reason to believe they have joined the illegal sect.

“They are our children; today it is my son and tomorrow it may be yours who is joining a dangerous and murderous sect. Help the police to help you,” a senior police officer told the East African Standard.

Police are also going over a register recovered from arrested Mungiki people on which there are more than 5,000 names of people believed to have enlisted with the sect.

Police sources said the register is useful because it will lead them to more members of the outlawed sect.

Also found in the register were photo copies of national identity cards, which has led police to believe that enlistees are required to surrender the copies to the leaders of the sect upon recruitment.

The nine people in police custody were also in possession of paraphernalia such as human hair and a flywhisk.

A mans body with some parts missing was also found at the scene and taken to City Mortuary.

In the register, details of concoctions to be taken as an oath during the bagation graduation were clearly indicated.

This included drinking human urine, eating a human beings umbilical cord, sniffing tobacco and burning of scents.

Last year in Nakuru, several people were killed by those believed to have been from the sect.

In Dandora, they took over matatu stages, killing and injuring a number of residents. They also invaded Wakulima Market at around 4.00am last year, demanding to take over the business of loading goods onto vehicles.

Police are investigating reports that on January 20 this year, 25 sect members graduated to join a group of more than 70 in the bagation unit in the country.

According to the register with the police, Mungikis Platoon One – Bagation Number 10 – operates in Korogocho, Mathare, Kayole and Dandora.

The platoon in Dandora is also backed by a Number 3, which is in charge of Githunguri, and Kiamaiko.

In Buruburu, Machakos town and Mlango Kubwa in Eastleigh, it is Bagation Number 8 carries out the killing duties.

Nairobi Provincial Police boss Jonathan Koskei has said police were using the register to crack down on the outlawed sect members.

He said the members have changed their attire and that most of them have shaved their dreadlocks.

The Nairobi Provincial Commissioner, Mr Francis Sigei, called on sect members to follow their former leader Ndura Waruinges steps by abandoning it and converting to Christianity.

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