Mungiki - This ruthless monster must be slain now!

For years, the Government has assured Kenyans that it was committed to erasing the Mungiki sect from the face of the earth.

But after every such assurance, the sect members have always resurfaced to put the Governments’ assurances to shame.

Yesterday’s highly co-ordinated pre-dawn “protests” in various Nairobi suburbs and in Nakuru, Naivasha, Nyeri, Thika, Gatundu, Nyahururu and even Eldoret towns proved beyond doubt that far from being dead and buried, the Mungiki sect had only metamorphosed into a hydra-headed monster that defies all attempts to eradicate it.

The “protests” seem to have caught our security and criminal intelligence apparatus by surprise. How else could hundreds of youths “spontaneously” mass in eight towns without the Government being aware that something was afoot? Does this mean the intelligence system is asleep?

The sect members not only paralysed transport on major highways, they also set ablaze a huge number of vehicles, and even burnt down an assistant chief’s office and derailed a train in Dandora.

Regardless of the ostensible reasons for this “Mungiki uprising” – the gory murder of the wife and driver of the sect’s jailed leader Maina Njenga – there are clear signs that the sect was out to prove it is not to be taken lightly.

Only a month ago, hundreds of members poured into the city streets in a protest march that, again, seems to have taken the police by surprise. None of the organisers has been apprehended yet, indicating, perhaps, that impunity is the catalyst driving these people.

It is also possible that the sect’s politicisation – it is said that politicians have funded and used them to carry out their hatchet work– could have turned them bitter after being used and dumped.

Whatever the case, the issue is clear: The Government security machinery has signally failed to contain this criminal organisation which has gained a notoriety for extortion and grisly executions.

There are convincing indications that very senior politicians in both the past and present government used the sect to carry out dirty political work. Perhaps that is where the impunity springs from.

This is a challenge to the Government. Will it allow the Mungiki to set up a parallel government, run a reign of terror and thumb a nose at the rule of law?

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