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8 held as police stop attempted Mungiki oathing

By | November 2nd 2009

by Munene Kamau and Patrick Muriungi

Suspected Mungiki sect members were arrested while preparing for an oath-taking ceremony in Kirinyaga District.

Police arrested the gang members at a remote village in Mwea following a tip by the public.

The owner of a house at Ng’othi village where the ceremony was underway fled and is being pursed by police following the 3pm Saturday incident.

Kirinyaga acting OCPD Patrick Oduma said his officers had to fire several times in the air to scare away the marauding gang members, who were armed with weapons.

A member of a vigilante team trying to flush out the proscribed Mungiki sect. Photo: File/Standard

"On learning the house was under siege, the adherents stormed out brandishing pangas, daring my men and in the process most escaped even as gunfire intensified," Mr Oduma said.

He disclosed that only eight suspects were arrested out of the estimated 30 at the site.

Oduma, who spoke to the Press at Sagana Police Station where the suspects are held, said two goats, tobacco, sufurias, five Bibles and a hymnbook were recovered from the house.

He said two motorcycles said to have ferried the adherents to the home were also impounded.

The officer told residents not to panic over the threats the criminal gangs were issuing through leaflets, as the police were fully alert.

Same spot

And residents of Machikine sub-location lynched a man they suspect was part of a gang they claim has invaded the area attacking farmers who have been paid their tea bonus.

After lynching one of the five suspects last week, they caught up with another member of the gang yesterday morning and killed him the same way and at the same spot.

About 500 villagers waylaid the victim identified by police as Gikunda Elijah, 42, an ex-jail bird, as he returned to his house.

The mob then dragged him to Karima junction and lynched him.

"We have decided to deal with these characters because the police have failed to protect us. These gangs want to harvest where they did not sow," said one villager.

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