‘Mungiki’ houses set ablaze

Nairobi, Kenya - Angry touts burnt houses of suspected Mungiki followers in Githunguri, Kiambu District, while protesting against harassment by sect members.They acted after a tout was attacked and seriously wounded by people believed to be members of the sect in Ngara area, Nairobi.

The operators converged in Kiambu town at about 3pm before driving to Githunguri, where they burnt three houses belonging to a man they said they suspected to be a member of the sect.

Villagers fled as the looted the houses before setting them ablaze.

Kiambu OCPD, Mr Amos Cheboi, said they were questioning two leaders of the sect in connection with the allegations by the operators.

Meanwhile, commuters were stranded for the second day running after Public transport operators along Nairobi-Thika route boycotted work, protesting against harassment by Mungiki sect.

This happened even as police headquarters announced a fresh crackdown on the sect.

Operators staged another round of protest on Tuesday, claiming they feared for their lives over the Monday boycott in which they accused followers of the sect of extortion.

The operators protested to the Thika divisional police headquarters, seeking police protection. They said followers of the sect were still harassing them despite past protests.

"They are still demanding money on the roads and police are doing nothing to stop them," said one of the protestors.

Commuters in Thika were caught unawares as the operators pulled out of business forcing them to trek for long distance. Others had to use bicycles in the town to connect to their destinations.

Protesting drivers and touts said they would boycott duty until Internal Security minister, Mr John Michuki, assured them of security.

"We tried to visit him in Nairobi but police blocked us. The problem is bigger than what they think," added another tout.

They said members of the sect demand up to Sh500 daily to allow them to operate on the main Nairobi-Thika highway.