500 Mungiki suspects are arrested in swoop, says PC

Kenya Times, Kenya/April 6, 2007
By Antony Ndwigah

Over 500 members of Mungiki sect have been arrested in Central province in a major crackdown conducted by the newly-formed special police squad (Anti-Mungiki) in the last one-week.

According to the Central Provincial Commissioner, Jasper Ruggut, the sect members have been arrested at Kiambu, Thika, Murang’a and Maragua district.

Ruggut said the sect had been active in the four districts and revealed that in Nyeri and Kirinyaga district the number of sect members were not many.

He said the operation conducted by newly-formed police squad composed of GSU, regular, administration police officers and intelligence officers have managed to bring normalcy in the matatu sector, especially in Thika and Kiambu districts.

The PC said that the Government was working with municipal councils in the province to streamline the transport operations since most of matatu and bus terminals were taken over by sect members who were harassing the matatu operators in those areas.

Ruggut also revealed that the Government has moved beyond bus terminals and now the security picking the sect members from their area of residence where they were hiding after receiving information from members of the public.

He said the district security team from Thika, Kiambu and Muranga districts have been instructed to form an intelligence team to deal with the sect menace in their respective areas.

He said the newly-created police unit will be patrolling from Murang’a to Nairobi throughout the day and night to ensure that those who proscribe into it were arrested and prosecuted.

Meanwhile, a notorious gangster wanted in connection of series of armed robberies in Kirinyaga district has been arrested. Area OCPD, Jasper Ombati, confirmed it yesterday.

Ombati said the suspect was arrested last night together with one of his female accomplices. The police boss said the suspect was arrested in Nairobi by flying squad officers where he had been hiding.

Ombati said the suspect had been linked with series of armed robberies and car-jacking within the district.

He termed the arrest as a breakthrough in fight against crime in the country, adding that more suspects may be arrested in the course of the week.

Meanwhile, the hijacking of MV Rozen, a ship belonging to a Kenyan businessman Kudrati Karim entered its sixth week yesterday.

According to the coordinator of the Seafarers Assistance programme, Andrew Mwangura, the negotiations had been going on between some Somali traders and representatives of the pirates.

But the talks hit a snag on the mode of transferring any ransom because of the recent fighting in Mogadishu, which has since closed all businesses in the Somali capital.

He said the latest information about the issue was that although the crew were in good health, but were concerned over their release. He also revealed that the ship stores such as food and water were being rationed and the Somali authorities still insist that they will take action against the pirates.

Since MV Rozen was hijacked, another merchant vessel has also been hijacked off Mogadishu port.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) registered dhow was hijacked while anchored outside deep waters at the port of Mogadishu.

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