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Hundreds of young members of Nairobi’s Mungiki gang have been murdered in the past six months in what the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights calls an extra-judicial crackdown, apparently involving the police, who have been unable to contain the gang using legal methods. The crackdown was apparently retaliation for a Mungiki rampage earlier this year that left hundreds dead — some beheaded and mutilated — in downtown Nairobi. President Mwai Kibaki had promised a crackdown on Mungiki; previous presidents cultivated the group’s support. [csr 7.1 2008)

Nairobi police in late May arrested 2,464 members of the outlawed Mau Mau-inspired Mungiki sect, fearing that the group planned to disrupt the general election scheduled for December. Leaflets had recently been distributed in the city’s slums accusing the government of failing to deliver on pledges to create jobs and rewrite the Kenya constitution, and claiming that 16,000 members of the country’s security forces were also Mungiki followers. [csr 6.2 2007]

A crowd lynched five Mungiki followers and police then arrested over 50 suspected adherents of the outlawed sect in late January. Mungiki, which employs “oathing” rituals, is carrying on a violent campaign to control much of the commuter transportation system in the Nairobi region. Meanwhile, the government announced a campaign to wipe out Mungiki, even though certain politicians are associated with the group. “In some cases,” said a government minister, “they [Mungiki] have appointed themselves the prefects of public morality by prescribing what women should or should not wear.”[csr 5.1 2006]

The alleged national chairman of the outlawed Mungiki sect, John Naima Njenga, has been arrested in Nairobi and charged with drug trafficking.[csr 5.1 2006]

The Kenya government has reported arresting more than 970 members of the illegal Mungiki sect, but denied allegations that police were harassing innocent people in the process. [csr 5.1 2006]

School for Killing
Kenya’s outlawed Mungiki sect indoctrinates young men to murder or execute the group’s adversaries, police say. They recently arrested sect members found in a Nairobi slum taking the “bagation” oath, which initiates them into a Mungiki “death squad.” Mungiki [which appears to be a Mafia-like organization trying to dominate the taxi and private transport system in the capital], has been in open conflict with authorities for a number of years. [csr 3.1 2004]

Police found paraphernalia including human hair and a fly whisk, as well as a human body with some parts missing, and a register of concoctions to be taken during the oathing, including human urine, human umbilical cords, and snuff. Officials have called on Mungiki members to follow former leader Ndura Waruinge, leave the group, and convert to Christianity. (Evelyn Kwamboka, East African Standard, Internet, 3/8/04) [csr 3.1 2004]