Mungiki leaflets in Kibaki’s backyard
Published on April 17, 2008, 12:00 am
By Moses NjagihThere was tension in Nyeri town after suspected Mungiki members dropped leaflets with a raft of demands they want met.
Through the leaflets, a copy which The Standard saw, the sect members demanded the immediate release of their leader, Maina Njenga, who is serving a five-year jail term, to allow him bury his murdered wife.
It states, “To all residents of Nyeri District. We demand: the release of our leader Maina Njenga to bury his wife. End to the extra judicial killings of our members by police. Return our people to their land in Rift Valley”.
It continues: “end of exploitation of the poor by the rich. Sunday no business should open in Nyeri to mourn our departed. Enough is enough, you are either with us or against us”.
Central Province has been living in fear of Mungiki threats since the beginning of the week.
Public transport was nearly paralysed especially in Murang’a North and South with matatu operators withdrawing their vehicles from the road.
Businesses in major towns in the two districts remained closed for the second day as tension spread to parts of Nyeri and Nyandarua.
But police have arrested 134 suspects in the province, some of who were charged yesterday. Central PPO, Mr Philip Ndwiga, said 561 suspects had been arrested in a crackdown in the province as the fight against the dreaded sect intensified.
On Tuesday night, suspected Mungiki members struck in Kabati in Murang’a North and Othaya in Nyeri. They destroyed business premises and set a vehicle ablaze.
In Murang’a North, a man’s wrists were allegedly chopped off and a matatu torched in the night attack.
And in Othaya, police said they had arrested 59 suspects who allegedly struck at mid-night and pelted business premises with stones and threatened to set them ablaze.
However, the PPO denied claims that the Mungiki members were behind the Kabati attack. He instead called it “normal thuggery”.
Commuters from Nyeri to Murang’a town were stranded at the main bus park and no public service vehicles were available.
Nyeri DC, Mr Michael Mwangi, however, said security officers were on high alert.
“We are not leaving anything to chance,” said Mwangi.