Five killed as Maina Njenga survives attack

 Former Mungiki leader Maina Njenga at Nyahururu District hospital after his convoy was attacked by unknown people along Nyahururu-Ol Kalou Road. PhOtO: JAMES MUNYEKi]   

Nyahururu, Kenya:  At least five people have been confirmed dead after a shooting incident involving former Mungiki leader Maina Njenga’s convoy along Nyahururu–Ol Kalou road on Saturday.

The former leader of the illegal sect survived the shooting  and was rushed to Nyahururu district hospital with serious wounds and it is here where he accused the police of trying to assassinate him.

 Four others were admitted at the same hospital with two in critical condition. Among the dead were two women and three men aged between 30 and 40.

Njenga was among a group of people travelling to Pesi in Laikipia for a family gathering when their vehicle was sprayed with bullets at Suera village.

Some victims were with Njenga in the saloon car closely followed   by  what was believed to be Njenga’s chase car.

Njenga says they had left Nakuru town for Laikipia when a vehicle which was trailing them blocked them at a bump along the way.

The occupants of the vehicle were brandishing guns and shot at them indiscriminately.

The drivers of the two vehicles were shot on the head and died on the spot while another woman died at Nyahururu district hospital.

The vehicles lost control and veered off the road before landing in a ditch nearby, said Njenga.

“The vehicle was overtaking us when we suddenly saw the occupants brandishing guns and shooting at us. I was shot on the hand and a bullet cut my right finger,” he told the press at the hospital.

At the scene, bodies of the four people lay in the vehicles in a pool of blood. Each vehicle had more than ten bullet holes.

Motive unknown

Njenga, accompanied by his brother Njoroge, had first said the motive of the incident was unknown but later insisted the police were responsible.

 He said a vehicle had been trailing them as they left Nakuru via the Ol Kalou-Ndundori road.

“We had seen the vehicle from time to time but had no reason to be suspicious,” he said.

Nyandarua county commander Hamisi Mabea described the incident as unfortunate. “This is an ugly incident which we didn’t not expect. Four people have been confirmed dead at the scene while one woman we have been told has died at the hospital,” he said.

Mabea said the police would investigate the cause of the shooting. “Right now, we cannot exactly tell what transpired but we are conducting investigations. We have eyewitnesses who  should be able to give  us more information,” he said.

 Mabea said police were looking for the vehicle carrying the gunmen. The bodies of the deceased were moved to Nyahururu district hospital mortuary.

The shooting comes at a time   differences have emerged among members of the outlawed sect with some accusing Njenga’s supporters of forcefully taking over their properties in Nairobi and other parts of the country.

Njenga, when questioned, said he would not comment on the matter. By the time of going to press, Njenga was set to be transferred to Aga Khan hospital in Nyahururu.