Kenya’s Mungiki Gang: Huge, Secretive and Terrifying

Christopher Goffard, Los Angeles Times, November 27, 2011

Its name means “multitude,” and it may be the biggest and most dangerous gang in the world, a thuggish army terrorizing Kenya with extortion rackets and gruesome punishments.

Much about the organization called Mungiki is cloaked in myth and speculation, not least the estimate of sworn members–some say 100,000, others say millions. Those claiming to be defectors, however, say the gang relies on strict discipline and tolerates no dissent.

“If a member disobeys, they would cut that member’s head off and put the head in public view at the place where they had a problem with the member,” an alleged former member said in a statement to prosecutors at the International Criminal Court.

Six Kenyans are facing charges at the ICC related to the ethnic violence that brought Kenya to the brink of civil war in 2008. The proceedings in The Hague in the Netherlands have cast a spotlight on the workings of the secretive Mungiki and its alleged role in what the court charges was government-sponsored mayhem in the wake of a disputed presidential election that left more than 1,000 people dead.

Often referred to in the Kenyan press as “an outlawed sect,” Mungiki has roots as a religious movement of the Kikuyu, Kenya’s most populous ethnic group. {snip}

Central to the ICC case is the nature of the gang’s links to the Kenyan government, despite a bloody, controversial battle to crush the group.

Prosecutors contend that chilling attacks by Mungiki thugs in the Rift Valley towns of Naivasha and Nakuru against members of the Luo ethnic group were orchestrated by one of Kenya’s most famous figures, Uhuru Kenyatta, son of the country’s first president and currently its finance minister and deputy prime minister.

{snip}

Despite long-standing public animosity between Kenyan police and Mungiki, prosecutors allege, police allowed gang members to roam from house to house, targeting mostly Luo supporters of presidential challenger Raila Odinga, a Kikuyu, who claimed he had been cheated out of the presidency.

Prosecutors contend that Kenyatta orchestrated the attacks with Francis Muthaura, the head of the civil service, who allegedly ordered police not to interfere.

Kenyatta appeared as a witness before the pretrial chamber in September and denied that he had ever belonged to the gang. The gang had, in fact, burned him in effigy in August 2000, apparently blaming him for a government crackdown.

The claim that he distributed millions of shillings at State House was “completely ludicrous,” Kenyatta said. Though the Mungiki backed his failed bid for president in 2002, he said, he did not solicit that support, and had repeatedly denounced the gang’s activities.

{snip}

Embodying the gang’s enduring enigma is Maina Njenga, who was long described in the Kenyan press as its boss. In 2009, Njenga was incarcerated on murder charges but released after he threatened to reveal an affidavit detailing links between government and the gang.

Since then, according to accounts in the Kenyan press, Njenga claims to have been born again as a Christian “ambassador of peace,” and announced that he would turn his Mungiki followers–who he claimed numbered in the millions–to positive political action.

{snip}

A much-debated question is how large and how dangerous Mungiki actually is. Some say it is a band of directionless Kikuyu youths who use the gang’s mystique, and its echo of secret Mau Mau rituals, to terrify victims who can’t discern genuine members.

{snip}

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  • Question Diversity

    No “gang” could grow this huge, and last so long, or be so secretive, but for government support. Then it’s not a gang, but something more pernicious.

    They keep saying “diversity is strength.” Yet, various tribes of Eastern African black people can’t get along in the artificial polity known as Kenya?

  • A Swain

    The contents of this article is merely a snapshot of Obama’s countrymen and their usual primitive customs.

    Just how was he allowed to ascend to the presidency of the United States in the first place, defies explanation.

    There again, Affirmative Action and Third-World style vote-rigging almost certainly is the answer.

  • john

    The article doesn’t mention that Mungiki members are normally armed with fully-automatic spears and often have regional police forces badly out-speared in clashes between the Mungkiki and the government.

  • Xanthippe

    Actually, I think that the “gangs” that are flooding America and Europe with non-Whites might be more dangerous.

  • Jim

    Animality in Kenya …. Gosh, it must be the result of white oppression. Frankly, as long as we’re not giving them our hard-earned money as part of some “humanitarian” effort, I don’t care what those people are up to. I’m serious. No more money for food or medicine or education or anything else. We tried to give them the greatest gift of all, the gift of first-world existence, first-world being-in-the-world. They’ve proven themselves unworthy of our precious gift. We must abandon them to their savagery, lest they drag us down any further.

  • Zenta1697

    Probably coming soon to a once-free,formerly European-based large North American socialist republic near you!! After MS-13, Mexican drug cartels, Al Qaeda, and all the other post-’65 blessings lavished upon us, this will likely be next. Wasn’t our own Illustrious Leader over there a few years back, inserting himself into violent, volatile Kenyan “Presidential politics” to promote one Corrupt Boss Man Nut over an opposing Corrupt Boss Man Nut? I think he was pro-Odinga, but really, who remembers anymore, given that our Ministry of Propaganda dutifully ignored that story, too? Heck, considering the Obama family tree that his reprobate Islamo-Marxist daddy propagated, Odinga is probably Boy Blunder’s brother, cousin, uncle or perhaps all three.

  • Anonymous

    “Question Diversity” stated that no gang could grow this large w/o government support. Hmmm. I wonder if the antics of one Obed Orbach, an Israeli and a Jew, arrested by the US for selling weapons to the Taliban (!!!!!) were known to the Israeli government? How about the Israeli rabbi arrested in New Jersey, after a widespread government investigation, for operating a network of human organ sales. Were his actions known to his government? Hmm. Hmmm. Not to mention the Orthodox Jewish drug cartel that imports drugs into our nation. (Oddly,the guy who played in Social network did a movie about the drug-selling rabbis.) Hmmm.

  • Anonymous

    7 — Anonymous wrote at 1:01 PM on November 30:

    “Question Diversity” stated that no gang could grow this large w/o government support. Hmmm. I wonder if the antics of one Obed Orbach, an Israeli and a Jew, arrested by the US for selling weapons to the Taliban (!!!!!) were known to the Israeli government? How about the Israeli rabbi arrested in New Jersey, after a widespread government investigation, for operating a network of human organ sales. Were his actions known to his government? Hmm. Hmmm. Not to mention the Orthodox Jewish drug cartel that imports drugs into our nation. (Oddly,the guy who played in Social network did a movie about the drug-selling rabbis.) Hmmm.”

    OK. You waste your time with your Jew baiting while a Mau Mau rapist/ murderer is stalking your wife or daughter.

    My heart pounds with fear any time I have to walk through a Jewish neighborhood.

    You never know when you’re going to be bludgeoned to death with a Menorah, throttled from behind with a Talith or stabbed with a Yad.

    I feel much safer in North Philadelphia, Camden or Bedford Stuyvesant.