What you need to know:
- The former Mungiki leader was represented in court by Narc-Kenya party leader Martha Karua , Ndegwa Njiru, George Wajackoyah, Orlale Cheche and Simon Mbugua.
Former Mungiki leader Maina Njenga was on Monday released on a Sh100,000 bond or a cashbail of Sh50,000 by a Nakuru Court.
Njenga who appeared before Principal Magistrate Kipkurui Kibelion more than five charges including being a member of an organised crime and engaging in organised criminal activities, crimes he is said to have committed on May 12, 2023.
He however pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
He was also charged with being in possession of firearms ammunition, government stores and psychotropic substances.
The ex-Mungiki leader was also accused of addressing a gathering at Wanyororo area in Nakuru County on May 11, 2023, to "encourage support" activities of the outlawed sect, Mungiki.
According to the charge sheet, Njenga was said to have been identified as a member of the gang alongside 11 other suspects who were arrested on diverse dates between May 12 and 18, 2023 in Wanyororo in Bahati constituency.
The court further heard that he was found with records likely to be useful to a person preparing to commit serious crime involving the Mungiki criminal gang on May 12, at Wanyororo area in Nakuru.
“The accused organised and attended a meeting along with others, whose purpose was to encourage the support for the Mungiki gang,” read the charges in part.
Njenga is also said to have addressed a meeting on May 11, at Wanyororo, to encourage support for the gang.
He allegedly invited his 12 co-accused to the meeting he chaired at his home and illegally permitted the meeting to continue despite knowing it was a campaign for the gang.
The former Mungiki leader was represented in court by NARC -Kenya party leader Martha Karua , Ndegwa Njiru, George Wajackoya, Orlale Cheche and Simon Mbugua.
Also present in court, in solidarity with Mr Njenga, were opposition politicians Jeremiah Kioni, former Cabinet Secretary, Eugene Wamalwa and ex- Murang'a Governor Mwangi wa Iria.
Ms Karua, applied for the court to release him on reasonable bond terms or in alternative, a free bond.
Ms Karua insisted that Njenga was not a flight risk as he has presented himself before court and the offices of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) when required to.
“His place of residence is known to the public and he will not interfere with witnesses if released,” submitted Ms Karua.
Ms Karua told the court that despite the charges, reports by the DCI suggest that they may have no evidence to charge him for being a member of the Mungiki sect.
“Even in their twitter post, the DCI identified Njenga as an ex-mungiki leader, suggesting that it was in the past,”Karua told the court.
She submitted that Njenga was innocent and charges preferred against him had been politicized and will not stand on merit in court.
She added that they were politically motivated to curtail Njenga’s civil rights to self-expression, association and assembly.
“Those responsible want to stop Njenga from mobilising his political base like any other politician,” alleged Karua.
Lawyer Ndegwa had also sought orders to have a section of government leaders barred for making inflammatory statements against their client.
He cited a recent meeting in Thika where Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua made prejudicial statements about Njenga.
The magistrate declined to grant the orders saying that no evidence had been provided to prove the allegations.
The court released him on the condition that he should not address the media or the public.
He was also barred from making any contact with any prosecution witnesses likely to jeopardize the case.
The matter will be mentioned on June 20 for further directions.