Kenyan police has detained
120 suspected members of a sect accused of extorting money from Nairobi’s minibus drivers. Kenyan media reports say authorities were ordered to crack down on members of the Mungiki
and prevent demonstrations against the police.
The suspects belong to a sect called the Mungiki, that blends Christian doctrines and traditional African practices. It has been blamed for macabre killings, abductions, and extortion
and also controls several Muntatu lines in Nairobi.
It comes less than a fortnight after the wife of the sect’s jailed leader was found beheaded, sparking riots in Nairobi and surrounding areas.
Armed members of Kenya’s Mungiki gang, angry at the beheading of their political leader’s wife, fought paramilitary police on the streets of Nairobi yesterday. Up to 12 people were believed to have been killed.
Nairobi – Some 200 members of a banned sect linked to murders and beheadings, as well as killings during recent post-election violence, were arrested in the Kenyan capital over the past three days, police said on Thursday.
They gave warning to the unwelcome neighbors to leave. Then they came – dozens of young men with machetes – and hacked away at any members of the Luo tribe that they could find.
After the eruption of post-electoral violence, members of some communities have embraced the outlawed gangs to provide security in their territories.
Head of the state-funded Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, Maina Kiai, said that members of the banned Mungiki, a shadowy gang mainly from President Mwai Kibaki’s Kikuyu tribe, were sought out for protection.
As many as 8,040 young Kenyans have been executed or tortured to death since 2002 during a five-year police crackdown on Mungiki, an outlawed sect.
The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights linked the slayings to a war between police and Mungiki – a violent, quasi-political, street gang accused of a string of beheadings and fatal shootings earlier this year.
Kenyan police arrested eight members of a banned sect, blamed for a string of murders and beheadings, while taking an illegal oath in the capital, said an official on Wednesday.
Kenyan police have denied carrying out extra-judicial killings of alleged members of the outlawed Mungiki sect.
Police hit squads engaged in a vicious war with the criminal Mungiki sect are in the spotlight following the killing of scores of people whose bodies have been dumped in the Ngong Forest area.
The Mungiki, a quasi-religious criminal gang, has terrorised parts of Nairobi and central Kenya in the past few months.
Police arrested a suspected leader of an outlawed Kenyan group blamed for a string of beheadings and fatal shootings this year, the man’s family said Wednesday.
Many primary and secondary school students have joined the outlawed Mungiki sect, headteachers in Murang’a North and South districts said yesterday.
Human rights groups have been calling on the Government to negotiate with the sect members with a view of ending the extra-judicial killings.
The government of Kenya has admitted that it was not easy to wipe out Mungiki-like gangs, and ruled out any negotiations with sect members.
Last month, the police announced that they had killed 37 suspects during the crackdown on Mungiki in Mathare slums. The sect’s leaders placed the death toll at more than 100. But Mathare residents and human rights organisations can only account for 14 bodies.
Locked in a war with Kenya’s police, the Mungiki criminal gang has already spread enough fear and violence to have made its name the word that is not spoken aloud in Kenya’s fertile highlands.