|Members of the Mungiki sect|
Kenyan Politics: Of Maina Njenga, 2013 Election and Mutation of the Mungiki sect
By Murimi Mwangi
I was in Kirinyaga, my home county in 2009 during the bloody war between the outlawed Mungiki Sect and the Kenda Kenda Vigilante Squad, a war which had the blessings of the police and the Provincial administration.
During that bloody conflict I together with other men aged above 17 years were forced to sleep in bushes armed with pangas and other crude weapons away from the comfort of our homes for fear of Mungiki’s attack.
The imminent attack never came but iit did strike at Mathira village in Nyeri County in a grisly manner when 27 innocent Kenyans were hacked to death.
The attack and sad memories of brutality that I have personally witnessed among the sect members has given me a déjà vu with gearing up to next general elections as Mungiki sect is going to bed with politicians, a bad omen for peace.
I’ll start with Mungiki leader (I won’t use former for the sect still exists) Maina Njenga who after dubiously denouncing the sect and camouflaging as a Man of God dines with the high and mighty in the country.
Maina enjoys status despite the indelibility of the innocent blood that still stains his hands. He even met the late Muammar Gaddafi before his demise.
He has shared podiums with parliamentarians, ministers, businessmen, politicians and presidential aspirants.
With this political bed hopping with Mungiki Kenya is breeding a sect which will be more brutal than Mombasa Republican Council (MRC). This will be the worst tragedy if you consider the sect was heavily involved in the last PEV. A clear sign of political manipulation.
With the brutality of Mungiki the country should be ready to wake up to news of headless bodies and kidnapping from the sect.
To get the gist of this post I’ll start with Njenga’s current leadership at Mkenya Solidarity Movement (MSM) party, formally headed by the veteran politician GG Kariuki before he decamped it for Uhuru Kenyatta’s TNA.
Before mutating into a MSM rumours were abound of Maina Njenga weighing his options to either throw his weight behind Uhuru Kenyatta or the Prime Minister Raila Odinga presidential bids.
However, Uhuru Kenyatta, aware of the muck that Mungiki has brought to his name and his presidential bid, denounced the sect. Uhuru then immediately directed the TNA Chairman, Johnston Sakaja to reject Maina Njenga’s friend request during a press conference.
During the recent Kangema by-election that followed the demise of John Michuki, Mkenya Solidarity Movement (MSM) sponsored John Gathongo to face the PNU and TNA candidates. Kangema was considered a TNA or at least an Uhuru stronghold, so ODM declined to sponsor a candidate there.
However, the ODM still financed the MSM candidate. In appreciation of the underground ordeal between ODM and the MSM, Maina Njenga was swift to proffer his appreciation. He immediately declared he would support Raila Odinga’s presidential bid next year.
Prior to all this, Uhuru Kenyatta had received the endorsement of the GEMA association during the Limuru meeting dubbed Limuru 2.
This had angered the the Gitobu Imanyara Meru faction, so the Mungiki sect took advantage of this and staged a Limuru 2B meeting at the same venue, to denounce the endorsement of Kenyatta by the GEMA association. They did this with the support of Paul Muite, Gitobu Imanyara and a few politicians from ODM.
The ODM faction of the government pressurized the government to grant the meeting permit to the organizers of the Limuru 2B.
As it was expected the PNU arm of the government, under which the internal security ministry falls used the police to disrupt the meeting. This received massive criticism from the US and other western Embassies.
Though many might be shortsighted about this, Maina Njenga is a key player in the forthcoming elections.
The presidential campaigns for next year’s elections are built around the politicisation of the ICC, and Maina Njenga could be holding the secret key to Uhuru Kenyatta’s chances.
Uhuru is defending himself in a case at the ICC, for allegedly providing the financial and logistical support to the Mungiki during 2008 retaliatory attacks in Parts of Nairobi and the Rift Valley at the height of Kenya’s post election violence.
That ICC case is the major stumbling block to his presidential candidacy in the forthcoming elections. It is common knowledge that Raila Odinga wants Uhuru and Ruto completely off the presidential race.
And here is where Mungiki’s dalliance with either TNA or ODM looms, let’s consider the facts I’ll postulate here.
This is my justification. A high number of youths from central Kenya are Mungiki members, majority of them are poor and uneducated. Additionally, their oath of allegiance to the sect forces them to follow any decrees passed by the sect.
From this basic fact, most of them will blindly endorse the sect’s as it has happened in the past. It is the old politics of who gets what when and how!
It is my plea to the government to clear this sect because it is undergoing resurgence in many parts of central Kenya.
Recently a childhood buddy and a Mungiki sect member called me over the phone boasting about high underground recruitment and oath taking in Katrina Town which inspired this post, but that’s a post for another day.
The writer studies communication and media at Maseno university firstname.lastname@example.org