Saturday, October 24, 2009



"Mungiki leader set free"

October 23 2009

Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko told the Saturday Nation that the evidence presented by the police could not sustain the murder charges levelled against Mr Maina Njenga.

“The Attorney General subjected the file to his own independent review and concurred with the DPP that there was no sufficient evidence to warrant the continuation of the murder case,” said Mr Tobiko.

The DPP’s confession came only hours after the State entered a nolle prosequi in the murder case against Mr Njenga and 21 others before a Nyeri court.

Quoting section 82(1) of the Criminal Procedure Code that gives the AG powers to terminate any criminal proceedings, State counsel Charles Orinda told Mr Justice Joseph Sergon that the State did not wish to pursue the case.

“It is his (AG) desire for this matter to cease... I have duly signed the nolle prosequi with the purpose of terminating the proceedings,” Mr Orinda told Mr Justice Sergon.

The murder charges relate to the Mathira massacre in which 29 people were hacked to death by suspected Mungiki members on May 20.

Mr Njenga had been freed on April 28 but enjoyed the freedom briefly.

Shortly after the court released him following a successful appeal, police pounced on him and whisked him away. He had appealed against a five-year jail term on charges of possessing an illegal firearm and trafficking in narcotic drugs.

Mr Njenga’s release caught even his family members by surprise coming only a day after he and his three co-accused took their pleas. The State had also applied to have their cases consolidated with the one facing the 18 other suspects.

The AG’s move had fuelled widespread speculation over Mr Njenga’s earlier intention to release an affidavit whose contents remained undisclosed.

Defence lawyer Paul Muite had told the press on Tuesday after meeting his client at the King’ong’o Prison that Mr Njenga had given him the green light to file the affidavit within 10 days, whether or not the State granted him protection under the Witness Protection Act.

Yesterday, Mr Muite declined to comment on whether the threat to file the statement had anything to do with the dropping of the case.

And, speaking outside the King’ong’o prison gates, the Mungiki leader said his first priority would be to get baptised and bury his wife, whose body has been lying in the mortuary for the past one year.

“My priority will be to get baptised, that is why I have been looking for a priest. I also need to bury my wife, the mother of my children,” he said.
s news of his release spread, Mr Njenga’s supporters broke into celebrations in Nairobi and parts of Central Province.

In Nairobi, his supporters thronged the Jesus is Alive Ministries on Haile Selassie Avenue where the freed man had gone for prayers organised by Starehe MP Bishop Margaret Wanjiru.

Speaking to the media in Bishop Wanjiru’s office, Mr Njenga explained that he had finally accepted salvation following his years of incarceration.

He proclaimed to his supporters: “Those who followed me praying facing Mt Kenya should be with me as I follow Christ.”

After a short service, the Mungiki leader headed to his Kitengela house.

At Uhuru Park, his supporters were confronted by armed General Service Unit (GSU) who descended on them with batons, arresting about 10 in the process.