17 January 2003

Kenya: 68 Face Court On Mungiki Link Charges

Nairobi — Sixty eight suspected Mungiki sect members have been charged with offences linked to the outlawed organisation in various parts of the country.

At the Makadara court in Nairobi, 34 suspects were accused of preparing to commit felonies by having offensive weapons, including pangas (mahettes), knives, rungus (clubs) and iron bars.

The four groups of suspects who had been arrested in different parts of Nairobi, denied the charges when they appeared before Makadara Senior Principal Magistrate Charles Rinjeu.

The magistrate ordered that they be remanded at Kamiti Maximum Prison until February 26 and 28 when their cases will be heard.

The suspects in the first group were charged with being found at Githurai 45 in Nairobi which is not their place of residence on January 14.

They were accused of preparing to commit a felony using pangas, iron bars and rungus.

Those in the second group were arrested on January 9 at Mlango Kubwa estate, Nairobi while those in the third batch were found at Roysambu estate on January 14 and both groups faced similar charges.

Members of the fourth group were arrested at Ngumba Bus Stop in Nairobi on January 14, and were also charged with preparing to commit a felony.

In Nakuru, 22 suspects, including one woman, denied being members of the illegal sect before Principal Magistrate Harun Bomet.

The magistrate ordered that the suspects be remanded in custody until the hearing of their case on March 19 when they could apply for bail.

Twelve of the suspects allegedly committed the offences on January 11, in Nyahururu, Laikipia District.

The other eight suspects alleged to have committed the offences in Nakuru Town while another man was accused of committing the offence at Mutuku Farm in Njoro on the same date.

In Nyahururu, two women suspects were released on bond while 10 men were remanded at the Nyahururu Industrial Prison.

Principal Magistrate Kathoka Ngomo directed that Ms Naomi Njeri and Ms Agnes Muthoni be released on Sh30,000 bond and surety in the same amount.

Some 55 people have been charged in the Nyahururu court over the past one week with offences ranging from being members of the outlawed sect to unlawful assembly.

-Reports by Martin Ochola, James Kariuki and Lorraine Anyango.

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