Mungiki’s chilling warning to defectors

Nairobi, Kenya - A MAN alleged to have deserted the outlawed Mungiki sect was yesterday hacked to death as two former legislators linked to the criminal activities of the proscribed organisation were arraigned in court while Juja MP William Kabogo was arrested despite a court order.

Elvis Njoroge Mutwa , 27, and a father of two was killed by suspected Mungiki adherents in Mathare Area 4A at about 9 am and his body dumped into the shallow Mathare river with a note tied on its head warning would-be defectors of dire consequences.

Police arrested Kabogo in Kiambu area on Tuesday night as he was headed to a friend’s house where he was scheduled to spend a night.

And last evening, High Court Judge Justice Jackton Buoma Ojwang’ directed Commissioner of Police Hussein Ali and Director of CID Gatiba Karanja to produce Kabogo in court today and show cause why they should not be committed to civil jail for contempt of court.

Justice Ojwang said Ali and Karanja knew very well that the court had issued Kabogo with anticipatory bond and bail stopping police from arresting him and yet they proceeded to arrest.

According to eye witnesses, Njoroge was plucked out of a number 46 matatu plying the Huruma route and paraded through the sprawling Mathare slums before being hacked to death by his former colleagues who were apparently angered by his recent dessertion from the sect following intensified police crackdowns on its members.

Both police and witnesses said Njoroge used to operate at a Dandora matatu terminus but shifted to Mathare upon defection from the sect sometimes last month. It was said that the sect adherents have since been hunting for him.

Police in the area led by divisional police boss Paul Ruto claimed that the man was a former member of the Mungiki sect and might have been killed due to his defection.

But his family disputed the police claim saying he was killed by a gang of illegal brewers who feared that he might expose them to law enforcers.

This came as two former MPs, David Manyara (Nakuru) and Adolf Muchiri (Kasarani) who have been linked to the proscribed sect were arraigned before a Kiambu court but declined to execute a bond to keep peace as demanded by police

The two legislators who have been in police custody for the last four days told senior Magistrate Mrs Grace Macharia that they had no association with the proscribed sect and therefore could not sign the peace binding writ.

The politicians said the police have failed to find any evidence to connect them with the criminal activities of the sect and had no reason to force them to execute the bond.

Their lawyers James Orengo, Nganga Wakihiu and Wanyiri Kihoro complained to the court that the police have not given reasons for holding their clients more than the period prescribed by law.

They urged the court to make enquiry to establish the grounds under which the police held the two politicians in incommucado away from their families and lawyers.

The lawyers submitted that police have deponed in their affidavits matters of hearsay adding that the law enforcement agents ought to have gathered credible information linking the former MPs to the sect before arresting them.

In the absence of tangible explanation and evidence before the court, the subjects cannot be asked to execute the bonds to keep peace, said Orengo.

The fundamental rights of the former MPs, he said, had been violated, saying that at the hearing of the constitutional application they would be raising several issues which have been infringed as result of the arrest and illegal confinement.

Mr Orengo said the police had admitted on oath that indeed in their investigations they did not find any evidence against them and therefore no criminal charges could be preferred against them.

The lawyer said that the law requires that upon arrest the police were supposed to report the matter to a magistrate or produce them in court within 24 hours.

The magistrate, however ordered the politicians to provide a bond for Sh 500,000 each to secure their release or alternatively deposit in court Sh 200,000 pending the hearing of their constitutional application. Prosecutor Inspector John Marete said the intelligent reports in the hands of the investigating officers revealed that former MPs were associates of and contributors to the affairs of the sect. That their involvement was indirectly and remotely such that the investigation failed to gather evidence to indict them with criminal offences.

She ordered that those applications be heard on June 25 and July 24 respectively. Mr Manyara, a former Nakuru Town MP was arrested last Thursday while Muchiri was nabbed on Friday at the Bomas of Kenya as he attended Democratic Party (DP) delegates meeting.

Police are still holding former Limuru MP George Nyanja who was apprehended last week while attending a Democratic Party of Kenya (DP) meeting at the Bomas of Kenya.

Wundanyi MP Mwandawiro Mghanga who is also being sought by the police is yet to be apprehended and his whereabouts yesterday remained unknown.

Juja MP who successfully moved to court on Friday and obtained anticipatory bail was seized on Tuesday night despite the fact he was issued with a bond of Sh 100,000 by High Court Judge Justice J.B.Ojwang. On the Mathare incident, Njoroge’s mother, Mrs Wambui Karanja said his son had received several death threats from the group and that she had warned him not to venture out a lot in the area.

The slain tout is said to have been a member of the outlawed sect and he defected a few months ago and started threatening his former colleagues that he would expose them.

Mr Ruto confirmed that the slain man was a former member but wondered whether he had severed the links completely. “How come he went back to operate on the same route he used to extort money with his gang. If at all he had quit, he should have gone into any other business outside the area,” said Ruto

The man was dragged out of the moving matatu by a gang of four men in broad day light. He was paraded through the vast slum before bewildered residents. By yesterday noon, anxious residents who flocked to the scene of murder expressed fears that the killing was likely to spark off reprisal attacks in the area. They said the man was killed by a rival gang in the area which belongs to a particular ethnic group.

By the time police from a nearby police post arrived on the scene, the assailants had already escaped into the crowded slum.

The same area experienced a wave of violence in October last year when two outlawed groups clashed in the area leading to the deaths of several people.

Meanwhile, the Norwegian Ambassador to Kenya Elizabeth Jacobsen has urged the government to move with speed to guarantee security to Kenyans.

She said the government needed to adequately address threats from various violent groups like the outlawed Mungiki sect which she said was terrorising innocent people in many parts of the country.

And elsewhere, the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM)-Kenya leaders told the government to act decisively to wipe out the Mungiki menace from society.

Addressing the press after their National Executive Council (NEC meeting, ODM-K accused the government of dillydallying over the issue yet it knew the forces behind the sect.