New approach in anti-Mungiki war

What you need to know:

  • Eight arrested at the weekend as police swoop on key members of the outlawed sect

Police in Nairobi appear to have adopted a new approach in the fight against Mungiki.

Sources told the Nation on Sunday that eight key members of the illegal sect had been arrested at the weekend.

Kiambu West police boss Joshua Opiyo last night confirmed the arrests, saying the eight were found extorting money from drivers and conductors at the Wangige stage.

“We suspect they are Mungiki,” Mr Opiyo said.

Would be wiped out

He said those arrested were part of a cartel that has been demanding protection fees from operators.

The eight held at the Kikuyu Police Station, he said.

Unlike in past crackdowns, police are now gunning for top members instead of youths at bus parks.

A source who cannot be named because of the security risk, said matatu operators were optimistic that the sect would be wiped out this time.

The arrests in Nairobi, Westlands and Wangige followed the killing of a taxi driver in Wangige on Friday night and a threat by operators on routes to ground their vehicles after a conductor was attacked for refusing to pay up.

Mungiki collects Sh200 from each of 120 matatus on the three routes.

A source within the sect said two of its members had vanished from the Kabete Police Station.

Last week, allegations surfaced in Parliament that police had resumed alleged extra-judicial killings that resulted in condemnation by a United Nations rapporteur.