Church warns state over Mungiki sect

Kenya Broadcasting Corp/July 26, 2002

The National Council of Churches of Kenya, NCCK, wants the government to take urgent action to neutralize the unregistered Mungiki sect.

NCCK's Director of Programmes Sam Kabue warned that the sect posed great security threat both to the government and Kenyans in general.

"Threats by Mungiki adherents to circumcise all Kikuyu women aged between 14 and 45 years, and their commitment to de-Christianise the country could trigger public outrage that may end up fanning tribal and religious animosity," he said.

Mr. Kabue said that out-lawing the sect was not enough as the movement continued recruiting more members underground and issuuing threats undeterred.

The Government must come up more forcefully and confront the sect before things get out of hand, the NCCK official warned.

He cited the raiding of the police stations in Nyahururu and Muranga as clear indicators that members of the sect were prepared to go any lengths.

And in another bloody incident, Mungiki members clashed with a vigilante group in Nairobi's Kariobangi North estate leaving at least 23 people dead.

Sect members have been engaged in constant fights with touts in Nairobi as they battle for the control of the lucrative matatu business.

The sect, which has publicly declared its hatred for the church and total disrespect to the rule of law, has penetrated the educated unemployed youth who would stop at nothing to achieve orders from their leaders, Mr Kabue added.

He was chairing a session entitled the Mungiki Sect Survey in the on-going three-day NCCK Conference in Nyeri.

A survey conducted by a Kenyatta University lecturer Dr Wamui on the sect indicated that the adherents of the movement have a very strong bond of brotherhood and would confront any form of opposition.

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