16 alleged 'Mungiki' members arrested

Sixteen suspected members of the outlawed Mungiki sect were arrested yesterday afternoon in their office at Kayole, Nairobi.

They were allegedly holding a meeting at a house they call "Pentagon" in the estate.

Buru Buru CID boss Henry Ondiek said the suspects were likely to be charged with murders of two people in the slums last month over matatu (commuter taxi) control dispute.

Inside "Pentagon", the police recovered the sect's paraphernalia which included snuff, bottles of honey, swords, axes, machettes, hand gloves and other alleged oathing materials including cow horns painted black green and white.

The machettes and some black gloves were stained with dried blood, the police said.

Also recovered were neatly printed documents on the sect's ideals and motto.

The document, printed with colours identified with the sect - green, black, white and red - was entitled Reformation and talked of violence as a way of achieving desired changes in the society.

Buru Buru police boss Leo Nyongesa said he had information linking some of the arrested suspects with the killings last month.

"We have information that a meeting was held in the same 'Pentagon' house before the sect followers unleashed mayhem that left two people dead," Mr Nyongesa said.

The suspects will also be charged with being members of a proscribed society and holding an illegal meeting.

He added that the suspects could have been discussing financial matters at the time they were arrested as they were found with their accounting books.

"During the arrest the suspects had tried to run away but when they realised that the whole area was swarming with police officers and there was no chance of escaping, they just surrendered," the CID boss said.