Kenya Culture: The Mungiki Nation

Kenyans are at a crossroad. They are caught between the rock and a hard place, between the pot and the fire.

On one side there is the dreaded and murderous Mungiki. Just a mention of the word Mungiki and Kenyans scatter and lock themselves in their homes. Mungiki’s signature beheading, skinning of their victims and public display of their bloody trophies sends a cold shiver down the spines of many a Kenyans especially in Nairobi and Central Kenya.

Many businesses in these areas pay a daily non-voluntary tax to this gang in addition to the other taxies levied by the government. Worst hit is the matatu industry, construction sector, juakali sector, small shops and kiosks and other small scale businesses.

On the other hand is the Kenya Police. Other than the concern that the police have been blamed for extra-judicial killings of suspects, many Kenyans dread an encounter with the Kenya Police even when they are wronged and need police intervention. Kenyans are used to bribing their way to get “just treatment” in the hands of the police. Police harassment and brutality has been there for decades.

Thanks to the Mungiki, police at will execute suspects and brand them Mungiki. Thriving on the Mungiki mystery, the police do not need to prove to anyone that an executed Kenyan is a Mungiki, it is a closed case. If this trend continues by 2012, a huge percentage of central Kenya youth would have disappeared mysteriously under trigger happy policemen.

It is the high time the political establishment instituted the much needed police reforms to live up to their motto of “Utumishi Kwa Wote” (Service to all). Raila needs to stop being a crybaby and take the police reform bull by its horns. Kibaki needs to get into a foul mood and address the pertinent questions of police harassment, brutality and extra-judicial killings that are making the Kenyan wives and mothers mad.

As for Mungiki, for a start, the central Kenya politicians need to stop hiring this criminal gang during their political campaigns. Kenya politicians need to seriously address the problem of unemployment and give hope to the Kenyan youths. The Kenya police should arrest these criminals and take them to court with convincing prosecution evidence and leave it up to the judiciary to take the blame if these criminals find their way back to the Kenyan streets unreformed.

For now, as things remain the same, Kenyan should brace themselves for a Mungiki nation.

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