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Uproar as MPs claim State protecting Mungiki • Monday October 21, 2002

Daily Nation (Kenya), Oct. 18, 2002

A claim by Opposition MPs that the Mungiki sect is a Government department caused uproar in the House yesterday.

Members of the outlawed sect enjoyed protection from the government despite their involvement in unlawful activities, the MPs said.

The allegation sparked outrage from the government side, which accused the Opposition of trivialising the Mungiki issue.

Office of the President Minister Julius Sunkuli invited the wrath of the opposition when he said the outlawed sect was on the payroll of the Opposition.

The heated debate was prompted by Mr Karue Muriuki (Ol Kalou, DP) who wanted to know what action the police had taken against members of the sect who had attempted to circumcise women in Silibwet area of his constituency. He said members of the sect had also tried to impose a fee on every vehicle in the area carrying food produce.

Area residents resisted the move and as a result, a person was killed, the MP said adding that the sect’s adherents had sworn they would kill 20 people in revenge.

Mrs Beth Mugo (Dagoretti, SDP) asked the government to take the issue seriously as the group had been known to carry out such threats in the past. She said women were living in fear of being forcibly circumcised.

Mr Matu Wamae (Mathira, DP) wondered why the government entertained the activities of the sect when it was banned while Mr David Mwenje (Embakasi, DP) questioned why no action was taken against members of the sect who recently held a demonstration in the city in support of Kanu’s presidential nominee Uhuru Kenyatta.

Mr Njehu Gatabaki (Githunguri, SDP) asked the government to be ruthless on the sect.

Mr Sunkuli said the sect remained outlawed, but said its members were known to vote for members of the opposition.

The minister said the skirmishes in the Silibwet area arose from a dispute over a fee imposed by potato middle-men but which was rejected by farmers and transporters.

As a result, one person died while undergoing treatment at the Nyahururu Hospital. Patrols had been intensified in the area to prevent further skirmishes, he said.

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