Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho has ordered a crackdown on Mungiki sect members exploiting traders in central Kenya.
He instructed county commissioners and police commanders to implement his directive with immediate effect.
"Mungiki have returned and they are causing fear among the traders. They should be tamed," he said on Wednesday at Ngurubani Stadium in Kirinyaga County during a tour of developed projects in the area.
He observed that the sect’s adherents are now going round the region demanding protection fee from traders who have already been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
Dr Kibicho stressed that Mungiki is majorly concentrated in Kirinyaga where they are extorting money from traders.
"The Mungiki are a real menace and they should be dealt with ruthlessly. Their criminal activities will not be tolerated in this region or any other part of the country," he stated.
Dr Kibicho added that he issued the order after he received complaints on how the sect’s followers had taken control of the region once again.
"Traders had been complaining that the Mungiki are back in full force and they are making it difficult [for traders] to carry out their business and the security teams in the region should rein them in," he added.
He noted that it is sad that traders struggling to earn a living are losing their hard earned cash to the criminal gang.
At the same time, Dr Kibicho warned the police and administrators against protecting bar owners who are violating government guidelines aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus.
Dr Kibicho said he has information that bars are still operating with the full knowledge of security officers charged with the role of enforcing the guidelines.
He threatened to have any officer found to be protecting rogue bar traders fired.
"Some police [officers] and commissioners have a conflict of interest in these bars and that is why drinking is going on at night. Officers caught encouraging the sale of alcoholic drinks in bars which have been closed to fight the pandemic will face disciplinary action," he said.
He reminded the officers that Covid-19 is a dangerous disease and could kill many Kenyans if measures put in place to fight it are not properly implemented.