Is the Mungiki sect back in city slums? Police speak out
Widespread reports of Mungiki attacks in Mathare, Lucky Summer and Dandora on Sunday night were a false alarm, police have said.
The reports, contained in videos, texts, photos and Facebook live posts, according to Nairobi County Police Commander Japhet Koome, were fabricated to cause panic and incite the public.
But on Monday, residents said there had been incidents of violence the previous night.
Mr Koome said police were in pursuit of a banker suspected to have circulated the videos alleging the presence of armed members of the outlawed Mungiki sect dressed in police uniform.
“The only people who were on patrol at night were police and since we have heightened security in all estates in the city, we had very few incidents of crime. The city was actually very peaceful,” said Mr Koome.
He said several people had been arrested and others were being sought in connection to the “false and alarming information”.
A Facebook user went live on Sunday night with videos of alleged Mungiki members going up and down in his estate. In the link, he said the group was raiding homes, raping and killing people. The Facebook account has since been deactivated.
The Daily Nation received several distress calls from residents of the areas but contacted, police said they were on the ground and they had not received any information about an attack.
Mr Koome asked the media to circulate his personal mobile phone number so that those in distress could call him and give him directions so that he could send reinforcement.
“All we got were people living in other areas, giving us the reports that Mathare and Lucky Summer were under attack. There were only calls of concern,” he said.
Earlier on Sunday, a message was circulated on WhatsApp groups, warning members of a certain community of an imminent Mungiki attack.
Mr Koome also dispelled claims the military had been deployed to disperse protestors, saying the police were in charge of the operation to restore order and that the National Youth Service, Kenya Forest Service and prison warders were gazetted to help the police.
“I am in charge and I know who I am working with. The officers are well equipped, and trained to handle the situation. We have not reached to the level of needing the military,” Mr Koome said.
On Monday, the situation in Mathare slums remained deceptively calm. Business was slowly returning to normal in Baba Dogo and Lucky Summer.
In 4A and Huruma sections of Mathare, youth were still gathering in small groups.
Some stalls erected along the roadsides were demolished and the timber used to light fires on the roads.
“My friend called me at around 2am telling me the stall had been torn down,” said Ms Lorna Emily who added that the tension robbed her of her livelihood. “We have not even opened our businesses since these elections started because we are afraid.”
ATTACKING AND ROBBING
Ms Emily said youths started attacking and robbing residents on Sunday.
“Right now there is talk that we should not rebuild our stalls as they will burn them again,” she said.
On Sunday Nasa leader Raila Odinga went to condole with the family of nine-year-old Stephanie Moraa who was said to have been shot by police on Saturday.
While in Mathare, Mr Odinga had asked Kenyans to be calm and wait for Tuesday when he will issue a statement following his allegations that election results were manipulated in favour of Jubilee.
On Monday, some of the residents stayed at home and did not go work.
“Raila told us to stay and wait, so, we are waiting calmly until tomorrow when he will speak,” said Mr Moses Ngongo.