Six things to know about ex-Mungiki leader Maina Njenga
John Maina Njenga, who has been in the news recently following investigations by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), has been a controversial figure since the early 1990s.
Njenga is expected to appear in court next week to answer charges that include possession of firearms and 90 rolls of bhang found at his home in Bahati, Nakuru County.
Close allies of Njenga say he does not have a mobile phone and that to reach him, one must go through his aides.
Njenga spent most of Thursday, 25 May 2023, in the hands of detectives attached to the DCI headquarters along the busy Kiambu Road.
Here are six things you need to know about Maina Njenga’s life.
He was born in 1969
Njenga was born on 2 January 1969 in Laikipia County, the fourth child in a family of eight.
His father was known as Stephen Kamunya Njoroge and his mother as Margaret Wangui Kamunyo.
He grew up in Kalandi village in Laikipia County and attended Ol Ng’arua Primary School until 1984. He then went to Ortum Secondary School in West Pokot.
Linked to Mungiki sect
Njenga has been linked to the Mungiki sect, which sources say began when he encouraged the youth to always pray while facing Mount Kenya.
It is worth noting that Mungiki means a united people and he used this influence to rally people behind former President Daniel arap Moi.
This is how he began to forge links within political circles in the early 1990s, but later fell out with the former leader after a section of Mungiki youth were linked to crime.
He claimed to be the leader of the group until 2002, when he denounced it following a crackdown by the government of former president Mwai Kibaki.
He never finished his jail term after issuing threats to the government
He never completed his sentence after issuing threats to the government.
In 2007, Njenga was arrested by police and charged with possession of bhang and weapons.
He was later jailed for eight years on murder charges but never served his sentence.
From behind bars, he boldly declared that he was in possession of a dossier containing damning revelations about prominent government officials. He then announced his intention to publish this dossier, exposing the alleged wrongdoing and bringing these officials to justice.
This reached the office of the former Attorney General, Amos Wako, who had the case dropped by the Attorney General.
As a result, he was released by the Nyeri High Court and became a free man.
Maina Njenga as a Christian
In 2009, the former Mungiki leader was released from prison, and his next stop was the Jesus is Alive Ministry Church, affiliated with Bishop Margaret Wanjiru.
While at the church, Njenga said he was ready to be baptised and change his ways as he was already following the word of God.
He frequented the church and was always at the forefront of Christian issues.
Maina Njenga the political leader
Njenga first contested the Laikipia senatorial seat in 2017 on a Kenya African National Union (KANU) ticket but failed to win. He tried again in 2022 for the same seat but lost again.
In 2022, he ran on the Kenya African National Union (KANU) ticket linked to former Baringo senator Gideon Moi.
It is worth noting that he had joined the Jubilee Party in 2017, but did not get along well with the leadership, which raised questions about his integrity.
After the 2022 general elections, he has been so close to the Azimio la Umoja coalition led by opposition leader Raila Odinga.
In Karen, he is a neighbour of former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, while in Ongata Rongai, he is a neighbour of former Cabinet Secretary and Head of Public Service during the Kibaki administration, Francis Muthaura.
Maina Njenga’s two wives have been murdered
In 2009, while Njenga was still serving his prison sentence, his first wife, Virginia Nyakio, was tragically murdered.
After leaving prison, he was later able to marry Grace Wairimu, who was also murdered in 2014 by gunmen who attacked them while they were in his car.
At the time, he survived the fatal attack and since then has kept his life very secret.
No one has been arrested for the 2014 murder of his family.