Kumekucha Exclusive Investigation
THIS IS PART 2. Read Part 1 First
Kumekucha has reliably been informed that a key Mungiki figure, Kimani Ruo, met the same fate that befell the five men shortly after he was acquitted by the High Court on charges of being in possessing of a firearm and drug trafficking.
We have been informed that Ruo was abducted by plainclothes detectives from the Special Crime Prevention Unit outside the High Court and bundled into a police car and handcuffed. The car sped off towards Mombasa road. Police officers privy to what took place informed us that Ruo was shot dead and his body thrown into the Nairobi National Park. It’s believed the body was mauled by lions and other wild animals and there will never be any trace of him. Ruo’s abduction was captured by KBC cameras but senior police officers ordered the state-owned station to destroy the tapes fearing it might betray them.
When Ruo’s family started exerting pressure on the police by filing a case in the High Court for him to be produced in court, Superintendent of Police Richard Katola, the head of the Special Crime Prevention Unit, added a new twist to the saga by filing an affidavit in court claiming they did not know his whereabouts. In a desperate attempt to cover up the execution and divert attention, Katola claimed the police were also looking for Ruo over other criminal matters! The trick worked and gave the police a much-needed temporary reprieve.
It has since emerged that police had gotten wind before the judgment was read in court that Ruo was to be acquitted. Ruo did not know detectives in plain clothes lay in wait for him outside the High Court when he was acquitted. As he strode out of court in a jovial mood eager to be re-united with his relatives, he did not know that death lurked in the shadows. Ruo’s co-accused, John Kamunya, alias Maina Njenga, ended up being the luckier one as he was sentenced to five years in jail for possessing a gun and nearly 5kg of marijuana.
Ruo’s saga will one day haunt the police like the 1987 Mbaraka Karanja execution riddle.
For those of you who might not recall the Mbaraka Karanja riddle, the man was picked up by the CID on April 4, 1987, on suspicion that he was a top criminal. Eight days later, Mbaraka had “vanished” from police cells and police were unwilling to reveal his whereabouts or produce his body. Interestingly, his body "disappeared" and police later claimed it was buried in a mass grave at the Eldoret Municipal cementry after nobody turned to claim it! Police had picked him from his Limuru home and they knew it very well. Secondly, relatives of Mbaraka started looking for him from the first day of his arrest and police kept sending them on a wild goose chase. The killing led to a protracted court battle. Mr Justice Derek Schofield, who was hearing an application by the family demanding the police either produce Mbaraka or his body, courageously stood his ground that police should honour the family’s demand. Judge Schofield opted to resign when the Executive ordered that he release the case file to another judge.
Before Schofield resigned, he was sent on a wild goose chase by the police when they lied in court that the body was buried in the Eldoret cemetery while they knew very well that it was not buried there. The police, pathologists and mortuary officials faked documents to show that the body had been booked there. In compliance with the judge’s orders, the police dug up one grave after another as grieving relatives of Mbaraka choked in stench. Finally, the police told the judge that they couldn’t find the body!
It emerged years later that Mabaraka was actually killed by police in Karura Forest in Nairobi and his body set ablaze in the forest. By then, nobody could remember the exact spot in the dense forest where Mbaraka’s body was burnt. It appears the police have resorted to their old habits of gangland-style executions after failing to contain the Mungiki.
Even before the blood in Mathare could dry up, police were at it again. Police got wind that there was a group of youths who were taking oaths to be recruited to the Mungiki sect. In what has become an apparent shoot-on-sight policy against mungiki suspects, police sealed off the house where the youths were and sprayed everyone who was inside with bullets. Police guns claimed 60 lives from that house that night. The first statement given to the press by police claimed they had shot dead seven men who were caught in an oathing ceremony. The figure then rose to 27. Strangely, the incident was highly downplayed by the mainstream media.
Reliable information availed to Kumekucha shows that among the 60 dead were six pupils from the neighbouring primary schools. It has emerged that a few Mungiki sect members invited innocent youths of that locality to a goat-eating party without disclosing what it was all about. Knowing how neighbours back in the villages relate in brotherhood, no one could resist the temptation of roasted meat. And when the police descended on the village, they were not interested in making any arrests. Their mission was to send all the occupants in that house to their early graves. The Mungiki sect members and the innocent majority died in that single incident.
To avoid causing a storm, the police decided to scatter the bodies in public mortuaries all over Central province. A heap of 60 bodies taken to one mortuary would have caused a major storm. Relatives had a rough time trying to locate the bodies of their loved ones. And the provincial administration ensured that the relatives did not give them a descent burial. Burials were hurried and no speeches or prayers were allowed.
Officers who have been given the task of monitoring the Mungiki sect members disclosed that the police crackdown on suspected sect followers had claimed the lives of more than 1,000 people in Kiambu, Nairobi and Murang’a since June. Although a number of Mungki sect diehards have been killed by the police, the brunt of police brutality has been borne mostly by the innocent majority. Daily Nation last week carried a story of two police officers who were taken to task in court over how they arrived at the conclusion the people they had charged were members of the sect. The formula used by the police to identify and condemn one to be a member of the banned sect baffles even the police themselves! If they can’t prove in court how one belongs to Mungiki, what of the hundreds of those who have been summarily executed unheard?
It is emerging that police were given express orders from higher authorities to execute any Mungiki sect suspects after Internal Security minister John Michuki and Chief Justice Evans Gicheru went on a warpath in June over who was to blame for frustrating the police war on the dreaded Mungiki. The minister is on record as having ordered the police to shoot on sight anyone suspected to be a Mungiki follower.
But by a stroke of bad luck, Michuki ended up shooting himself in the foot when the killing of 60 people in his backyard attracted a backlash from his constituents. Knowing what is at stake with the General Election around the corner, Michuki made a surprise public appearance in Murang’a and condemned the police action. But his scathing attack on the police did not go down well with commissioner Hussein Ali, who called a press conference and dismissed the minister’s remarks as unfortunate.
And in an attempt to please Michuki’s constituents, at least six GSU officers were dismissed over the Murang’a killings. It’s still unclear who sacked the officers since it’s public knowledge that Michuki and the police chief rarely see eye to eye and the latter rarely takes orders from the former.
The Mathare massacre will go down in history as one of the worst incidents of human rights abuse by the Kibaki Administration. And it’s a big shame that human rights watchdog organizations—which were so vocal against every single incident of human rights abuse during the Moi regime—have now decided to turn the other way as state agents arrogate themselves the role of the police, prosecutor, judge and executioner.
The Kibaki Administration has for a long time been accused of only being mindful of the rich. The Mathare killings prove this beyond any doubt. The police action in Mathare demonstrated that the Kibaki Administration criminalized poverty. It is highly likely that some of Mungiki adherents sort refuge in neighboring Muthaiga when things got hot. Why did the police operation not extend to Muthaiga then?
We know the answer to that one. Even if the three police officers had been killed in Muthaiga, it is highly unlikely that police would have reacted in the same way. We would be happy to see brutal police bursting into every home in Muthaiga in search of criminals next time a crime is committed in the neighborhood.
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