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War on Mungiki sect still on

Daily Nation, Kenya
June 21, 2004 • Monday June 21, 2004

The war on the outlawed Mungiki sect is still on, Internal Security minister Chris Murungaru, has said.

He assured the public that the Government had not relented in its crackdown against the sect and other organised criminal groups.

While addressing the Press at Karundas Secondary School in his Kieni constituency, Dr Murungaru said the Government would “wipe out” the sect, as the amnesty extended to its members early last year had long expired.

Declaring “total war” on the remaining sect members, the minister said the Government would purge the country of all groups and individuals engaging in organised crime and ensure that peace and security prevail.

In the last six months, more than 18 people are believed to have been brutally murdered by the sect’s members.

Some of the victims are former Mungiki members who publicly denounced the sect and refused to rejoin it despite the expiry of a January ultimatum issued by die-hards.

But even as the minister gave the assurance, the Government was criticised for failing to crack down on the sect.

A Londiani councillor, Mr Jackson Kikwai, said one could not understand how the Government, with all the security machinery at its disposal, could to stamp out the Mungiki menace and save the lives of innocent Kenyans.

Speaking to journalists at Londiani market in Kericho District, Mr Kikwai said Kenyans were fed up with the killings. He said the Government should resign, if it cannot put a stop to the sects activities.

But as he took on the Government, a suspected Mungiki adherent was arrested in Nyeri after a tip-off.

Members of the public informed the police about the suspect alleged to have slashed and seriously wounded four people in Ngangarithi Village in the last two days.

Villagers who spotted the suspect sitting near the scene of the crimes, alerted traffic police on duty along the Nyeri-Othaya-Karatina junction and they quickly swung into action.

They pursued the suspect and arrested him along Kiamwathi road before frogmatching him to the Nyeri Police Station as an angry crowd bayed for his blood.

Although the well-dressed suspect protested his innocence, the crowd escorted him to the police station to ensure that he did not escape.

On Friday afternoon, two people were assaulted with a machete, but the suspect escaped as villagers rushed to answer their cries for help.

And Saturday evening, two young women were slashed in the same area.

All the four victims were admitted at the Nyeri Provincial General Hospital with deep cuts on their heads and hands but were said to be out of danger.

Nyeri police boss George Wafula said the suspect would remain in custody until he is positively identified by the victims.

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