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Hunt for Mungiki followers

East African Standard, Kenya
Mar. 9, 2004
Eliud Miringuh • Tuesday March 9, 2004

Police yesterday declared war on the outlawed Mungiki sect, as reports emerged that its members were involved in cases of carjacking.

The Nairobi police boss, Mr Jonathan Koskei, said his men arrested eight Mungiki adherents last Sunday and confiscated certain paraphernalia from the suspects, which was being analysed.

This follows an exclusive story carried by the East African Standard on the emergence of a squad within the outlawed sect trained to kill people.

Members of the sect who graduate into the squad, are known as “bagation squad” derived from the words no bargain over death.”

Speaking yesterday, Koskei said the new squad was meant to intimidate former members of the sect, who had denounced it or abandoned its dangerous mission.

“We have a number of murder cases as well as carjacking linked to Mungiki members,” Koskei told journalists in his office.

He said intelligence reports had linked the sect with two murders in Kasarani, which was part of the revenge killing.

Koskei said police had already dismantled the sects top leadership. He was optimistic the current crackdown would bear fruits.

“We have started from the top by dismantling Mungiki and our efforts are succeeding,” said Koskei.

He said remnants of the sect were trying to intimidate those who had abandoned it, hence the formation of this dangerous squad on revenge mission.

Earlier, Police sources in Nairobi had confirmed that at least 50 young people had graduated into the death squad since January this year.

The members, in their early 20s, paid between Sh1,200 and Sh1,800 before they were allowed to pass out as “bagation unit.”

This group has been used by Mungiki to murder or execute their adversaries.

Last week, nine members of the bagation squad were arrested by Police after they were found taking oath at a slum near Riverside Hotel in River Road area.

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

A register containing over 5,000 names of Mungiki members was also found during the raid, along with photocopies of National Identity Cards.

The nine in police custody were found in possession of human hair, and a flywhisk.

A mans body with some parts missing was also recovered from the scene and taken to City mortuary pending identification.

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