Former leader of the outlawed Mungiki sect, Mr. Maina Njenga, has emphasized that efforts to organize a major meeting of leaders from the Mount Kenya region, led by retired President Uhuru Kenyatta, are still ongoing. This is despite the disruption of a meeting he had planned on December 31, 2023, at Kabiru-ini grounds within Nyeri County, where the government and associates of Mr. Kenyatta urged him to cease using the retired president’s name.
“Uhuru will attend as a leader from the Mount Kenya region and will come to give us advice and visions for the future in social and political aspects,” he stated on Monday when addressing the Kabiru-ini situation.
Mr. Njenga had promoted the meeting as his official handover of responsibilities to be the spokesperson for the Mount Kenya communities on behalf of Mr. Kenyatta. Eventually, Mr. Kenyatta was to deliver his acceptance speech, and other leaders were to confess.
The government, through Nyeri County Commissioner Mr. Peter Murugu, claimed that the meeting aimed to revive the outlawed Mungiki sect, leading to its prohibition.
Additionally, Mr. Njenga has warned Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua against the trend of security forces suppressing Mount Kenya youth by associating them with the outlawed Mungiki sect.
Mr. Njenga insisted that he did not go into hiding as was rumored due to the intense crackdown following his meeting, which resulted in raids in Nyeri, Murang’a, Nyandarua, Laikipia, Kirinyaga, Nairobi, Nakuru, Machakos, and Kajiado.
Police reports on the January 1, 2024 raids showed that a total of 704 youth were apprehended, with 250 from Nyeri.
Mr. Njenga did not appear in Nyeri despite the intensive search on all routes entering the county, now stating that “there was no meeting because it had been postponed.”
“I contacted Mr. Kenyatta and other national leaders, and we agreed to first postpone the Nyeri meeting. However, since we did not intend to leave our supporters in the dark, considering we had prepared for the meeting for a while, we decided to reorganize slowly,” he said.
Already, allies of Uhuru, including former Ndaragwa MP Mr. Jeremiah Kioni and blogger Pauline Njoroge, have cautioned Njenga against using the retired president’s name in his speeches and meetings, saying that “he always knows how to express himself whenever he has an issue to tell Kenyans.”
He stated that he had not published an official notice calling young people to Kabiru-ini or sent a notice to the police as required by law, “so those who were arrested were in their personal activities.”
This is despite the escaped youth admitting to the media that they were obeying “Mr. Njenga’s invitation for prayers and a political meeting.”
Mr. Njenga added that he would not show up in Nyeri or elsewhere to help his supporters who were being arrested by the police, adding that he is currently mourning the death of his uncle.
“We are planning a funeral, and we even took him to the mortuary on the day of the Kabiru-ini meeting,” he said.
He urged the government to understand that “there is currently no group called Mungiki, and those youth, after being used by Mount Kenya leaders to bring William Ruto’s rule to power, have turned and been labeled as members of an outlawed group.”