Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Revealed: Kibaki’s Secret MoU with Mungiki

The story Kenyan media refused to touch:

Contents of secret meetings between President Mwai Kibaki and Mungiki leaders leaked from State House say Kibaki promised to hire up to 20,000 Mungiki members in the Kenyan military and police forces, and give Mungiki control of bus terminuses from 2008 if he returns to power in exchange for the sect’s support during this year’s General Elections.

Our sources say Mungiki leaders came with a long list of demands which included:
• Recruitment into the military and police
• Stopping police crackdown on its members in Central Province
• Getting control of bus and matatu termini
• Government appointments
• Being allowed to own firearms
• Allowing Mungiki to protect their lands in Rift Valley

Kibaki is said to have agreed to all their demands and promised to act on them if he is re-elected.

The issue of recruiting Mungiki members in the army was first raised by Subukia MP Koigi Wa Wamwere. It’s not clear whether Mungiki want to be a part of the Kenyan military or form an elite separate grouping within the force.

During 2002 election campaigns, former president Daniel Arap Moi’s government is said to have given Mungiki members several military vehicles to perform some mysterious functions for KANU.

The management of bus terminuses, according to the agreement, would be under a private company fronted by Mungiki, an anonymous State House source privy to the secret meeting has revealed.

Essentially, Mungiki would be allowed to set the prices for buses using the terminuses as it wishes, despite the fact that bus parks and matatu terminus are built from tax payers’ funding.

The agreement came after the spate of killings in Central Province including Kibaki’s Othaya backyard. According to our source, the killings were instigated this year to blackmail the president into signing the deal with the violent sect.

Our source says Mungiki leaders met with Kibaki at State House Nairobi on several occasions between July and October this year, in secret meetings organized by a prominent politician from Central Province .

Our source, however, declined to name the politician but said the media has mentioned him several times in connection with the sect.

Defense Minister Njenga Karume, Internal Security Minister John Michuki and Assistant Minister for information and broadcasting Koigi Wa Wamwere and Uhuru Kenyatta are some of the politicians who have been associated with the sect.

In the agreement, Kibaki is said to have promised Mungiki immunity from prosecution for punishing owners who don’t comply with their requirements.

Mungiki is known for beheading and mutilating the genitals of people who defy its orders. Early this year, the sect was blamed in an incident the beheaded and mutilated body of a 2 year old boy was discovered in Nairobi . The brutal killing is believed to have been retaliation to the government’s crackdown among its rank in Nairobi .

Kibaki also promised to stop cracking down on Mungiki foot-soldiers racketeering in Nairobi and its environs, essentially putting the sect members above the law.

Beside the demand to control bus parks and matatu terminuses, the sect also demanded to be given control of providing vigilante-type security in Nairobi slums like Mathare, Majengo and Korogocho. Our source tells us Kibaki was non-committal to the demand, but he did not dismiss it.

But it seems as if the group got what it wanted. Even after the much-publicized police crackdown on the sect’s activities in Mathare, Mungiki adherents still continue unabated to charge protection fees from poor Mathare residents. Failure to pay the fees could lead to severe beatings and even death.

In exchange, the group promised not to interfere with Kibaki’s campaigns and instigate violence in opposition controlled zones such as Langata’s, Kibera, whose former area MP is ODM’s presidential candidate Raila Odinga.

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