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KENYA’S UNCALLED FOR KILLINGS BY POLICE

Talk to Mungiki, Gema leaders say

Story by CASPER WAITHAKA
Publication Date: 05/01/2008

A group of leaders from central Kenya on Wednesday called for talks between the outlawed Mungiki sect and the Government.

The leaders, who included a sitting MP and former ministers, also asked the Government to release Maina Njenga, the sect’s jailed spiritual leader,  to lead the talks on behalf of Mungiki.

Led by former Defence minister Njenga Karume, the leaders  said that since Prime Minister Raila Odinga had called for dialogue with the group, their leader should be present to table their plight.

The Mungiki leader is serving a five-year jail term after he was convicted of being in possession of an illegal firearm and 22 rolls of bhang.

“Let their leader be granted bond so that he can attend the talks. He is best placed to propagate their agenda,” he said.

Maragua MP Elias Mbau was the only elected MP at the press conference held at a Nairobi hotel.

He said he would raise the Mungiki issue in Parliament, especially the killing of suspected sect members.

Other leaders included former Kanu secretary general Joseph Kamotho and former MPs Norman Nyagah and Macharia Mukiri of Kamukunji and Molo respectively.

Uncalled for

Mr Kamotho added that the killing of young people from Central Province was alarming and uncalled for.

“There is a burial in every village in Central Province, especially in Murang’a and Maragua districts. The Government should engage the youths in discussions and not try to suppress them by killing them,” added the former Mathioya MP.

Mr Njenga Karume caused an uproar last year when he said that Mungiki members should be given a chance to speak out. He was then minister for Defence.

He came under criticism and was even accused of being a member of the sect. Prime Minister Raila Odinga called for dialogue with the sect during the swearing-in of the grand coalition Cabinet.

“These people were able to paralyse activities in different parts of the country. Residents were not plucking tea in obedience then there must be something that they are trying to say and should be given a chance,” added Mr Kamotho.

“I blame parents for failing to give guidance to their children to avoid engaging in any illegal activities,” added the former Mathioya legislator.

The move by the leaders was welcomed by the spokesman of the Kenya National Youth Alliance, Mr Njuguna Gitau Njuguna.

“With Maina out he will be able to speed up the negotiations and the truth will be known. These leaders have come to understand that it is affecting even innocent Kenyans,” he added.

Speaking on the telephone, Mr Njuguna said the briefcase that was stolen from the car boot after Mr Charles Ndung’u, the sect’s chairman, and his driver were shot dead earlier this week had documents of the petition that they were to present to the Government.

 
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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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