Kenya: Police Find Mungiki Register

Nairobi, Kenya - Police in Central Province have stumbled upon what they believe is a list of members of the Mungiki sect.

On Wednesday, police confiscated a register, some literature and assorted paraphernalia associated with the sect and arrested 77 suspects.

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On Thursday, police were using the roll to track down more suspects in Thika and Maragua districts, where some members are reported to have sought refuge after being flushed out of their hideout in Kiambu.

Thika OCPD, Mr James Ringera, told The Standard that police raided a home of a suspected gang leader, nicknamed Noriega, where they found the register. The suspect is in police custody.

"We found a register, which is written in coded language and we believe it is a list of the members. We are trying to decode it," said the OCPD.

If the list is decoded, the war on the outlawed sect could be half won because many of its members have been freed by courts due to the inability to prove membership.

The prosecution has been unable, in many instances, to prove that the suspects arraigned in court are members of the sect.

The only instance when suspects have been put on their defence on charges of being members of the sect was last week in Nyeri when 43 of them were told they had a case to answer.

The case is being heard by Nyeri Senior Resident Magistrate, Ms Elizabeth Osoro.

Meanwhile, 26 suspects have been arrested in Thika town after local residents gave out their names to the police.

The OCPD said they are also using the register, which has more than 1,000 names of suspected members of the sect.

Twenty-two suspects have also been arrested in the neighbouring Maragua District.

Area OCPD, Mr Stanley Lamai, said the suspects are believed to have taken oaths and some have cuts on their bodies.

Elsewhere in Kiambu, two people have been arrested in connection with the shooting of a police officer on Monday.

One was arrested on Tuesday and the other one on Wednesday night in Karuri.

Area OCPD, Mr Amos Cheboi, said the other suspect, who is only known as Laban, is suspected to be among those who shot the officer.

Central Provincial Police Officer, Mr Philip Ndwiga, said it has been difficult to distinguish the Mungiki from other criminals.