Women MPs from Mount Kenya have raised concern over attempts to revive and sanitise activities of the outlawed Mungiki sect by forces out to destabilisse the region.
The 10 Members of Parliament who addressed Journalists at Parliament Buildings in Nairobi on Wednesday, called on Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki to crack down on resurgence of Mungiki.
Nyandarua Woman Representative Faith Gitau said that as mothers and leaders from the region they still remember how they lived in terror under the outlawed sect whose members used intimidation, extortion and imposed illegal taxes on households.
“We cannot forget forced female genital mutilation, raping of women and girls in full glare of their very family members, intimidation and extortion in public transport, intimidation and extortion of construction businesses, drugs and the wastage of an entire generation among other ills,” said Gitau.
Kiambu Woman Representative Anne Muratha said that like a wildfire that destroys the natural ecosystem, Mungiki presence in the past disrupted the social fabric of their community and society at large having been fed with discontent amongst the unemployed youths in the 1980s.
Muratha noted that more than 50 people were killed when Mungiki clashed with matatu owners in Nairobi leading to the banning of the sect. She said that the sect also clashed with police in Nairobi for two consecutive days leaving at least two officers dead and 74 of its members imprisoned.
“In June 2007, the Mungiki sect started a wave of murders aimed at instilling fear on the populace by beheading several matatu drivers, conductors and perceived traitors to the diabolical cause, they recruited people by force and if one refused to join their illegal terror gang they would also beheaded forthwith,” said Muratha.
Naivasha MP Jane Kihara recounted that in 2007 the sect split into two leading to the gunning down of the Chairman and Treasurer of the Kenya National Youth Alliance at Uplands in Kiambu county and efforts to combat Mungiki were like firefighters battling a raging fire.
Kihara said that having the sect in place means rekindling the flames of violence, fear and destruction that once engulfed their communities and it would undo the progress made in restoring peace and stability and once again subject innocent citizens to the horrors of extortion, intimidation and murder.
Thika Town MP Alice Ng’ang’a asked media not to sanitise the sect by giving coverage to the activities of Mungiki, saying it was totally unacceptable for families that continue to suffer the loss of their loved ones.
“The world over the media has a public good to deliver and this does not include the glorification of terrorists, anarchists and saboteurs against the common good of all. The media has been known to cause countries to go to war as it happened during the Nazi regime in Germany, the Rwandan genocide and our own experience with post-election violence in 2007,” said Ng’ang’a.
The Thika Town MP said that no political agenda is worth the kind of pain atrocity and destruction of life and property that Mungiki will met upon their people and they shall soon lead women and other Kenyans in demonstrating against the sect if no action is taken.