alexa Mungiki's impunity landed it in hot water - Daily Nation

Mungiki's impunity landed it in hot water

Tuesday April 21 2009

By NATION Correspondent

Mungiki followers fleeing from police in Murang’a settled in Kirinyaga District in Kenya's Central province and established their bases in towns and villages last year.

They went into hiding for a few months but later emerged, criss-crossing the area intimidating and harassing the people.

Finding that the environment was conducive for their criminal operations, the gang started recruiting youths by administering oaths.

However, at the beginning of this year, the members started extorting money from business owners, matatu and boda boda (bicycle) operators.

Matatu operators were required to pay Sh50 a day each while a shop owner parted with Sh100. Boda boda cyclists were charged Sh20 a trip.

Matters reached boiling point last month when the gang threatened to introduce a Sh100 monthly charge for every family living in a timber house and Sh500 for those in stone houses.

Vigilante groups

The people organised themselves into vigilante groups comprising mainly youths, to deal with the menace. The villagers had the full backing of traders in the area who felt the police were not dealing firmly with the sect members.

On April 11 the vigilante launched their first attack. They took the gang by surprise at Muragara village in Kirinyaga Central, hacking three of its members to death.

Buoyed by the success of the attack, they killed another four members and set their houses on fire the following day. Since then, the villagers have been flushing out criminals and killing them one by one.

So far the villagers have hacked to death 14 suspected Mungiki members and burnt 20 houses.

The villagers have vowed not to give up the fight, saying that they will not be exploited by criminals. They have vowed to teach Mungiki a lesson.