37 Mungiki suspects arrested
Published on February 18, 2008, 12:00 am
By Cyrus Ombati
Thirty-seven Mungiki suspects were arrested taking an oath after a bust up in Nairobi’s Kayole estate.
More than 200 others who had taken the oath escaped because the officers who had laid the ambush were few.
The suspects, who included a class seven pupil, said they were taking an oath before they could be taken to Rift Valley for an “event” they did not know.
Meanwhile, it emerged that a special police squad that had cracked down on the sect had been secretly disbanded.
Kwekwe Squad, which has been fighting the sect’s activities since last year, was disbanded early this month in unclear circumstances.
On Sunday, police said they were tipped that there was a group of youths taking an oath in a house and that they had been there overnight.
Witnesses said the group arrived in vehicles, bicycles and on foot and proceeded to the event that kicked off at about 2am.
The house where oath taking allegedly took place is near a stream, and this makes it easy for them to escape whenever police strike.
Kayole OCPD, Mr Leonard Omolo, said the youth were ferried from Murang’a and Maragwa.
“They have confessed that they were brought here from Murang’a and Maragwa for the event,” he said.
In the house, they slaughtered seven sheep, whose blood they used in the oath-taking event.
Also recovered were several paraphernalia, 37 pangas, literature that showed where they planned to attack, five knives, sheepskins, sufurias full of fresh blood and seven head of sheep whose eyes had been gouged out.
Some of the youth confessed that they were brought there to take an oath.
Asked what they intended to use the pangas for, the youth said the recent chaos that were witnessed in parts of the country forced them to be armed.
“There could start a fight anytime and it is good for one to be ready. It can happen anytime,” said one.
By the time police arrived, at about 9am, majority of the youth aged between 14 and 28 had taken the oath and were ready to leave.
Omolo hinted that they had been informed that the exercise has been going on for the past two days and that more youths could have taken the oath.
Police have linked the sect to the killing of a man whose headless body was found lying in the sewage system in Dandora at the weekend.