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NO DIALOGUE WITH MUNGIKI SAYS GOVERNMENT

We’ll not dialogue with Mungiki, says Saitoti

Published on April 17, 2008, 12:00 am

The Government has declared it “will not negotiate with criminals” and promised to deploy more security forces to crush Mungiki.

Internal Security minister, Prof George Saitoti, declared as he announced that 12 people had been killed in the mayhem and 230 suspected Mungiki members arrested. The arrests followed an orgy of violence in several towns in the past three days.

The minister told Parliament that the Government would not relent in the operation to stamp out the gang, which has paralysed business in parts of the country since Monday.

“The Government shall not negotiate with organised criminals or any such groups,” Saitoti declared in a ministerial statement demanded by Mutito MP, Mr Kiema Kilonzo.

Kiema had asked for a Government response on Tuesday following the two-day orgy of violence by members of the outlawed sect in Nairobi, Nakuru, Nyahururu, Nyeri and Eldoret.

Saitoti denied reports that security forces were caught “flat-footed” by the gang, saying the police moved swiftly to contain the attacks that started at 3am.

The mini “Our security agents are up to the task to ensure that security is maintained,” Saitoti said.

But the statement caused uproar with members saying brute force would not solve the Mungiki problem. Some suggested that the Government should dialogue with members of the gang.

They urged the Government to address the root cause of the militancy, citing grievances aired by the gang’s spokesmen like land disputes and unemployment.

But Saitoti stood his ground, saying members of the sect must stop all acts of violence.

“I do not know of any government that would negotiate with people who have taken the law into their own hands.”

Earlier, the minister explained the genesis of the recent violence, saying it had been triggered by the murder of Virginia Nyakio, wife of jailed Mungiki leader Maina Njenga.

Saitoti said investigation into the murder of the woman and her driver were on.

He said police were pursuing several leads, including possible infighting in Mungiki.

The minister said measures to deal with the gang would include intensifying crackdowns, taking legal action against politicians involved with the sect, and deployment of more security forces.

At the same time, there is grand corruption at the District treasuries, an MP has claimed.

Mr Ekwe Ethuro (Turkana Central, PNU) said accountants at the district level were reluctant to carry out their duties unless they were bribed.

“The most rotten departments in the Government are the district treasuries,” he said.

While contributing to the Accountants Bill, 2008, he said corruption had even extended to the management of the Constituency Development Fund.

And Parliament has concluded debate on a Bill that aims to tighten legislation that governs the accounting profession to eliminate quacks.

The MPs said once enacted, the Finance Bill would boost the war against corruption. They noted that public funds were siphoned with the connivance of unscrupulous accountants.

Finance minister, Mr Amos Kimunya, agreed with members that corrupt accountants played a key role in financial scandals that brought down institutions.

He said the proposed legislation, which will repeal the current Accountants Act once passed, would update the existing law and strengthen the profession with more than 6,000 members.

The Bill, which sailed through the second reading, will be referred to the committee stage.

Should it be passed into law, all individuals previously practicing on the strength of a letter of practice issued under the current Act will be required to seek a certificate from the Registration and Quality Assurance Committee.

Under the proposed law, those found practising without certificate will be liable to a fine not exceeding Sh100,000 or to a three-year jail term.

MPs, Mr Jeremiah Kioni (Ndaragwa), Mr Eseli Simiyu (Kimilil), Ms Millie Odhiambo (Nominated) and Mr Yusuf Chanzu (Vihiga) supported the Bill.

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About SG

Secretary general of Chama Cha Mwananchi. This blog www.chamachamwananchi.wordpress.com, is based in Sweden.

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