Kenya: Police clash with Mungiki sect followers near Nairobi

BBC Monitoring Africa - Political /July 14, 2002

Excerpt from report by Kenyan newspaper East African Standard web site on 14 July A 13-year-old boy sustained serious injuries when he was struck by a stray bullet fired by police officers who were fighting Mungiki sect followers at the Makongeni area of Thika District [near Nairobi] on Friday [12 July].

Joseph Muga Kamau is fighting for his life at Thika District Hospital where he was admitted in critical condition. The bullet hit him on the back of the shoulder as police battled a group of over 50 Mungiki youths who had attempted to forcefully take over a matatu [private minibus] stage.

Thika deputy police boss Musa Yego confirmed the incident and said police were investigating the circumstances under which the boy was shot.

Trouble started at around 10 am [local time] on Friday morning when the Mungiki followers attempted to take over the BAT matatu stage along the Thika-Garissa road.

Two police officers who were on patrol intervened and chased away the sect members who fled from the scene. However, the sect followers regrouped and two hours later a gang of about 50 armed with rungus, pangas and stones raided the stage again and attempted to repel the police officers who were guarding it.

The officers called in reinforcements from the Thika Police Station and an all out confrontation ensued, with the Mungiki group pelting the officers with stones. The police managed to drive them away and they fled towards the bush at Gachaki Village where they later regrouped and the fighting resumed. It was then that the officers opened fire, injuring the boy.

Six sect members were arrested and locked up.

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