Top Mungiki Man Arrested

The East African Standard (Nairobi)/November 20, 2001
By Dominic Wabala and Nancy Khisa

Police last evening arrested the controversial Mungiki sect's national co-ordinator Mr Ibrahim Ndura Waruinge and whisked him away to an undisclosed destination.

Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officers from the Central Police Station staged a stake out at the Nation Centre along Kimathi Street for one hour before they arrested Waruinge.

He was then bundled into a waiting police vehicle and driven away.

Police sources said Waruinge was being held at an undisclosed station because it was feared that the Mungiki adherents might attempt to storm the Central Police station and release him.

The police have been searching for Waruinge, who has publicly declared that the Mungiki, an unregistered movement, would paralyse the transport system within the city should police interfere with their bid to take over the manning of all matatu termini.

The Mungiki have so far taken over the management of several routes around the city including Dandora, Baba Dogo, Kayole, Kikuyu, Wangige, Kariobangi and Waithaka.

On Friday afternoon and Sunday evening, Waruinge during a broadcast press conference warned police against interfering with Mungiki operations in the matatu termini.

However, the Nairobi Provincial Police Officer, Mr Geoffrey Muathe, cautioned Waruinge against issuing inflammatory statements and interfering with matatu operations in the city.

"If he interferes with matatu operations, we will deal with him and his group. We have laws in this country and they must be followed. Nobody will be allowed to hold Nairobians at ransom. We will not allow criminals to take over the transport system," warned Muathe.

The PPO last evening confirmed that Waruinge was arrested and that the police were collecting evidence of the crimes he has committed recently.

"We are looking at some issues and cases he has been involved and we are collecting evidence, including court files of cases still pending in various courts. We are looking for all criminal activities he has been involved in," Muathe said.

He said Waruinge will most likely be charged with taking over the matatu stages by force, creating disturbance, and interfering with business among other offences.

Waruinge had earlier yesterday morning allowed matatu manyangas (mini-buses) to start operating in Kayole after a two-day "ban" before his arrest.

Meanwhile, Mungiki leaders yesterday said they will disrupt future Gikuyu, Embu and Meru Association (Gema) meetings if all stakeholders in the country are not involved, add Beatrice Obwocha and Dorothy Nyukuri.

The Mungiki leaders said the Central Kenya MPs have failed to include all stakeholders in the province, adding that their sect has a larger following in the area than any other group.

They were reacting to the Gema Members of Parliament's five-hour meeting held last Thursday at a Naivasha hotel.

The Mungiki leaders, led by the sect's national chairman, Mr Maina Njenga, said the youth were not involved in the meeting and urged them to ignore the Gema MPs.

Njenga said Mungiki would lobby for a youthful candidate whom they are yet to name come the 2002 General Election.

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