Maina Njenga's trial starts after six months

Former Mungiki leader Maina Njenga at Nakuru court on November 20, 2023. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

The court has rejected a bid by former Mungiki leader Maina Njenga and 11 other suspects to have criminal charges against them dismissed.

Trial magistrate Kipkurui Kibelion began the hearing of the case after a six-month-long wait. The start of the case was marked by an anxious moment when key witness Hannah Njoki collapsed in the courtroom.

As she was being prepared to take the oath, Njoki complained about being tense and nervous. The proceedings were temporarily halted as court orderlies rushed to help the witness.

This allowed the prosecution to present its next witness, Police Constable Eric Wainaina.

Wainaina said he was among the officers who raided Njenga's home in Wanyororo, Nakuru North, on May 12. 

He said on May 11, the police received information that Njenga had a meeting with individuals suspected to be affiliated with the outlawed Mungiki gang.

"The meeting was planned to commit a crime," Wainaina said.

During his testimony, Wainaina said Njenga was not present at his home during the arrest, but eight individuals were apprehended.

Wainaina reported the recovery of a pistol and three rounds of ammunition from one of Njenga's bedrooms. Additionally, a homemade pistol, 96 rolls of suspected cannabis sativa, and approximately 1kg of traditional tobacco were seized.

"We also found notebooks containing suspicious notes that indicated plans for criminal activities," Wainaina added.

The officer said two vehicles suspected to be used in facilitating criminal activities were also discovered at Njenga's residence.

Furthermore, Wainaina mentioned the recovery of 19 rungus (traditional African clubs), walking sticks painted with colours of the National flag, and several receipts, one of which was linked to John Kuria among the 12 accused persons.

Njenga is charged with seven counts of being a member and a leader of the outlawed Mungiki gang. He has denied the charges.

He is also charged with engaging in organised crimes and planning criminal activities at his house in Wanyororo, Nakuru county, on May 12.