Maina Njenga, two co-accused arraigned at Makadara Law Courts over possession of weapons

Former Mungiki leader Maina Njenga

Former Mungiki leader Maina Njenga (right) with his lawyer Harum Ndubi at the Makadara Law Courts.

Photo credit: Joseph Ndubi | Nation Media Group

The government on July 24,2023 put up a spirited fight to have Mûngiki leader Maina Njenga denied bail after charging him with offences related to aiding protests called by opposition leader Raila Odinga.

The Office of Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP} had deployed four senior prosecution counsels - Alloys Kemo, Victor Owiti, Victor Mule and Joseph Mburugu to Makadara Law Courts to battle it out with more than 10 lawyers representing Mr Njenga.

Mr Njenga is represented by a nattery of lawyers led by senior counsel Harun Ndubi, Evans Ondieki, Samuel Ayora among others.

Mr Njenga and his two aides Peter Kamunya and Felix Ratu Lakishe are facing charges of subversion activities in contravention of Section 77 (1) of the Penal Code where they are accused of being armed with offensive weapons namely 14 machetes, 24 Maasai swords, 46 rungus and three jembe sticks.

The trio is facing additional charges of possession of offensive weapons contrary to section 89 (1) of the Penal code. They are accused of having been found in possession of the alleged weapons.

The accused persons are facing a charge of preparation to commit a felony contrary to section 308 (1) of the penal code where they are accused of having the said weapons with intention of committing a felony.

The suspects are said to have been found with the alleged weapons in Kiserian in Kanjiando County on July 20.

The prosecution says the three were armed with the weapons in circumstances that raised reasonable presumption that the said offensive weapons were intended to be used in a manner prejudicial to public order.

The government suspects the said weapons were meant to be issued to protesters involved in anti-government protests.

The three are also facing a charge of organising an unlawful assembly contrary to section 5 (1) as read with section 5 (10) of the public order Act.

They are accused of jointly organising an unlawful assembly and procession scheduled to take place in Nairobi and other parts of the country on the same date.

Mr  Njenga and his accomplices were also charged with trafficking narcotic drugs contrary to section 4 (a) of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act of 2022 where they are accused of having been jointly found with bhang worth Sh36, 720 and 489 grams of cocaine worth Sh1,944 000.

Prosecution claims that the three were found with the drugs concealed in plastic bags inside their car registration number KCJ 413 X in Kiserian during the arrest.

The suspects denied all the charges before Chief Magistrate Francis Kyambia and sought lenient bail and bond terms through their lawyers.

Mr Kemo filed an affidavit sworn by Chief Inspector Kipkemboi Rop of Directorate of Criminal (DCI’S) Serious Crimes Unit to oppose bail and bond terms for Mr Njenga.

The senior ODPP official stated that Mr Njenga is a habitual offender having been previously charged at the Nakuru law courts with charges of being in possession of offensive weapons, trafficking narcotics and organizing a public meeting and processions contrary to section 5 (11) of the Public Order Act.

“There is therefore a reasonable apprehension on the basis of his past character and antecedents that Mr Njenga, if released on bond, will continue to perpetrate offences having continued to involve himself in criminal activities even after having previously been released on bail on the previous charges,” stated Mr Rop in the affidavit.

Mr Rop stated in the affidavit that the DCI had received intelligence that a group of men were planning to commit crimes including grievous harm and causing malicious damage to property during planned demonstrations last week. A team then went to Kiserian where the suspects were intercepted.

Mr Ndubi dismissed Mr Kemo’s application to have Mr Njenga remanded during trial and claimed that the prosecution will not be able to prove any of the charges before Mr Njenga and the other accused persons.

“Some of the items they are accused of having possession of are 24 Maasai swords according to the charge sheet. The charge sheet says Maasai swords so they belong to the Maasais and not the suspects in court,” Mr Ndubi stated.

The lawyers pointed out that the suspects were arrested on Thursday last week and were detained incommunicado for the period adding the constitutional right to be arraigned before court within 24 hours has been violated. But Mr Owiti said the suspects were arrested on Friday July 20.

Mr Ndubi said that Mr Njenga’s mobile phones were taken away during the arrest and he was denied medical attention and access to lawyers during the detention.

Mr Kyambia remanded Mr Njenga and his two accomplices at the Nairobi Area Remand and Allocation Prison in Industrial Area until Tuesday July 25, 2023 when he will rule on their bail and bond application.