10 April 2008

Kenya: Mungiki Gangs Return to Extort

Nairobi — Mungiki gangs have resurfaced in Murang'a, The Standard has learnt.

So organised are the gangs that they are even issuing receipts to public transport operators, whom they force to pay illegal fees of Sh500, sources said on Wednesday.

Last year, a police operation in local villages and towns dismantled the gangs, but The Standard has learnt that they are back, running bus termini.

Murang'a South District DC, Mr Maalim Mohammed, said a special police unit had been sent to the area to flush out the gangsters.

He assured public of security calling for co-operation with the police to fight the gang.

He also told matatu crew to stop paying the fees. His Murang'a North counterpart, Mr Kenneth Lusaka, said the sect operatives had returned, controlling transport along the Kiria-ini-Murang'a and Kahuro routes.

He added that police, last weekend arrested 20 suspects at Kiria-ini market.

Meanwhile, the wife of Mungiki national chairman, Mr Maina Ngenga and his driver, have been abducted.

Family members say Ms Virginia Nyakio, and the driver, Mr George Njoroge, were last seen driving to Rongai on Tuesday, at 3pm. Njenga's elder brother, Mr Peter Njoroge, said the two were travelling in a white Toyota Rav4, registration KAZ 160A when they disappeared.

"Their mobile phones have been switched off since then and we think they were attacked by people who knew them," said Njoroge.

Njoroge said the driver had called a cousin immediately after they were attacked, but did not communicate.

Said he: "All he heard was the driver pleading with the attackers not to kill them then the phone went off."

But Lang'ata OCPD, Mr Patrick Mangoli, and his Rongai counterpart, Mr Hamis Mabeya, said no carjacking incident had been reported to them regarding the vehicle.

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