EXCLUSIVE: Maj Gen Ali’s Link to Execution of Mungiki Leader’s wife
Fresh details emerged today how the wife of jailed Mungiki leader Maina Njenga was brutally murdered and the involvement of a new elite squad directly answerable to police commissioner Mohamed Hussein Ali.
It emerged that Ms Virginia Nyakio’s execution was plotted by an elite squad codenamed The Eagle, which was recently formed by Maj Gen Ali to replace the disbanded Kwekwe Squad. Just like Kwekwe, the Eagle Squad is directly answerable to Maj Gen Ali and it was formed to exclusively hunt down members of the dreaded Mungiki sect.
Police officers who spoke on condition they would not be named for security reasons said Nyakio was seized by members of the Eagle Squad in Nairobi on suspicion she had taken over the leadership of Mungiki on behalf of her husband, who is serving his jail term at the Naivasha Maximum Security Prison after he was convicted for being in possession of an unlawful gun and bhang.
They said the Eagle Squad interrogated the woman on the activities of the outlawed sect and how much money she had in her bank account. The police claim they had received information that Mungiki members were still channelling part of the cash they extorted from public service vehicles and businesses, mostly in Nairobi Central and Rift Valley provinces, to Mr Njenga’s wife.
Afterwards, the officers said, Ms Nyakio was tricked to call her driver, Mr George Njoroge, to meet pick her in a certain location in Nairobi. The officers from the elite unit ordered her not to betray she was under arrest when making the call and they promised to release her if she cooperated.
She believed the officers and obeyed their instructions. The officers then accompanied Ms Nyakio to the meeting place and seized Mr Njoroge. They then proceeded to the bank and ordered Ms Nyakio to withdraw all the cash she had in her account. The account was reportedly holding more than Sh5million. It’s unclear what became of the seized cash since it has triggered bad blood in the squad, with junior officers accusing their head of pocketing all of it.
The officers who spoke to us said Ms Nyakio and Mr Njoroge were later taken to a forest in Kajiado District where the driver was told how the woman had betrayed him. The police tricked him they would release him if he carried out their orders which required him to rape the Mr Njenga’s wife and then slit her throat with a dagger that was provided by the officers. Mr Njoroge was threatened with death if he defied their orders.
As soon as Mr Njoroge had finished executing the police orders, an officer from the squad who was standing behind him gave him a vicious blow at the back of his head using a sledge hammer and his lifeless body slammed to the ground.
The officers then loaded the two bodies in their vehicle and ferried them to Gatundu District where they dumped them at Gakoe forest.
Police later “discovered” the bodies and transferred them to City Mortuary in Nairobi and booked them as unknown. Family members discovered the bodies a day after they were dumped in the morgue.
Even before anybody raised a finger against them, the police quickly informed the media that the two were allegedly abducted while driving in a Toyota Rav4 car along Lang’ata road towards Ongata Rongai.
Family members later accused the police of executing the two. But Police Spokesman Eric Kiraithe said detectives were investigating the killings and denied that police were responsible. He said detectives suspect that the killings could be connected to feuding within the Mungiki sect over leadership after their chairman was sentenced to a five-year jail term.
Police have gone further to allege the execution was ordered by Mr Njenga after he was allegedly informed that Mr Njoroge was having an affair with his wife while he was in jail. They claim the execution was carried out by Mr Njenga’s loyalists.
It emerged today that the love affair theory was coined by Maj Gen Ali’s key advisers, Mr Kiraithe included, to shift the blame and heat from the force. The trick didn’t fool Mungiki followers. Under the Kenya National Youth Alliance, the sect members last week one of the most violent protest in Central, Nairobi and Rift Valley provinces as they barricaded key highways with heavy trucks paralysing road transport for four days. The well-coordinated protest saw business premises remaining closed, vehicles and other property being burnt or damaged and an estimated 15 people dead. The worst affected was Murang’a and surrounding areas where residents remained indoors and businesses remained closed for four days.
It emerged today that the National Security Intelligence Service (NSIS) had gathered intelligence about the protest and passed on the information to Maj Gen Ali. But the police chief dismissed it saying Mungiki was wiped out last year and the remnants were incapable of organizing any protest. He got a rude shock when he was worked up by his aides at 3am when Mungiki struck with vengeance in the dead of the night. That explains why the police were caught napping when Mungiki struck plunging Kenya into grief just a few hours after they had celebrated the naming of the much-awaited Grand Coalition Cabinet by President Kibaki.
The Eagle Squad, headed by Inspector Zebedeo Maina, was formed by Maj Gen Ali to deal with Mungiki after he quietly disbanded its predecessor, the Kwekwe Squad, following local and international outcry that greeted the discovery of bullet-riddled bodies of Mungiki suspects in Ngong forest late last year.
An estimated 5,000 youth who were branded Mungiki followers by the Kwekwe Squad were rounded up from their homes at night in parts of Central, Nairobi and Rift Valley provinces by members of the elite unit and never to be seen alive again.
The seized youths were then shot dead and their bodies dumped in parts of Ngong, Kiserian and Kajiado to be eaten by wild beasts while the rest were loaded into police vehicles and ferried to the crocodile-infested River Tana.
The human rights abuse scandal became a matter of public knowledge when some Maasi herdsmen discovered some of the rotting bodies, which wild beasts were unable to feast on due to plenty of human flesh, at Ngong Forest and alerted human rights organizations and media houses.
Offcicials of the state-owned Kenya National Commission on Human Rights have since documented hundreds of cases of young men who vanished and their bodies have never been found after they were arrested by the Kwekwe Squad officers.
Although a furious Maj Gen Ali called a press conference to deny his officers were involved in any of the extra-judicial killings, he has never made any attempt to have them investigated. The police chief was at pains to explain how the youths went missing yet there was evidence that some of them were even booked in police stations.
After Kwekwe was disbanded, its head, Mr Francis Njiru, who also reported directly to Maj Gen Ali, was rewarded with a promotion of Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police. The rank is held by all provincial CID chiefs.
It emerged yesterday that the Eagle Squad was more ruthless and discreet than the Kwekwe Squad. To avoid the pitfalls of Kwekwe, the Eagle Squad draws it members from Gikuyu-speaking police officers since Mungiki’s followers are predominantly from the Kikuyu community.
The officers disguise themselves as Mungiki followers in order to infiltrate the sect. They use car hire vehicles instead of police cars. Unlike Kwekwe who betrayed themselves by killing the youths using police bullets, the Eagle Squad uses the tactic of executing their victims in the Mungiki-style of beheading and using pangas and other crude weapons to look like the sect members were eliminating each other.
The Eagle Squad does not take or book its victims in police station to avoid leaving any trace. They detain victims lined up for execution in discreet houses they call “Safe Havens” during the period of interrogation.
The tragedy with the Kenyan media is that crime reporters swallowed the lies fed to them by police headquarters regarding Ms Nyakio’s grisly murder and never bothered to dig beneath the surface.