By: Dennis Onsongo
Mungiki, the famous outlawed gang has resurfaced in Mukururu Kwa Njenga slum where they have regrouped and rebranded into another name called Nairobi Business community. This notorious and ruthless gang is giving the residents of Mukuru Kwa Njenga one hell of an experience. The plight of these residents can literally make you cry.
Photo: Mukuru Kwa Njenga slum where the gang is conducting its illegal activities. Source: Author 2017.
From my reliable sources and experience as a former resident of this slum i can confirm that for sure this gang has been operating in this slum for very long with different names and ambitions. As much as there are notions that the Kenyan government has made attempts to crack this gang, it is quit unfortunate that due to the Fact that a good number of their leaders have risen to national leadership and the issue corruption in the police force this group keeps on rebranding and metamorphosing into one dangerous gang especially in the informal settlements of Nairobi.
As much as the group through their chairman has tried to disassociate themselves from Mungiki, the way they conduct themselves and their illegal activities in the slum leaves no benefit of doubt that they are indeed Munguki.Something that even prominent figures in the country have attested that these group is the latest gang of Mungiki.
Members of Nairobi Business Community addressing the media in Nairobi. Source: Author 2017.
Not easy to crack down Mungiki.
There are no easy solutions to the Mungiki. Membership numbers range from 100,000 to as many as a 1 million. The group has links to politicians, local police, and government officials. Kenya banned the group in 2003 after a 2002 clash with a rival gang left 20 people dead. Even after banning the gang, the group still regrouped and persisted. Kenyan authorities, in 2007, rounded up and killed 500 young men believed to be associated with the Mungiki. All that did was spurring the gang to more violence rather than deter their members. Kenya’s inspector general of police had issued an alert about a plot to reinvigorate the criminal gangs ahead of the 2017 elections. Here is what he said. “The national police service is aware of the plans to revive over 50 outlawed groups, including Mungiki going by the name Nairobi Business Community, in the country, but as the police we will not let them flourish,” said Joseph Boinnet.
There are rumors of increased the gang’s activity, largely promulgated through Facebook and social media, that authorities have tried to downplay as lies. No one in Kenya knows what to believe about this violent gang bent on destroying Kenya’s wealthy and ruling classes.
It’s only the locals who knows that indeed Nairobi Business Community is Mungiki which is a very notorious and dangerous criminal gang. Its officials have not been arrested but they are seen walking freely in this slum conducting their illegal business as usual. These people enjoy support and immunity from the current corrupt local politicians and police offices in the location.
Activities of the Gang in the slum.
Most of these Mungiki’s members in this slum are young, poor and unemployed. From my findings this group is now involved in many illegal activities in the slum. It is usually involved in arrest investigation and detaining or even murdering suspects who did not comply with their illegal by laws.I have come to fully comprehend that this gang is a criminal outfit as they are taking roles among themselves domestic disputes, killing and working for local politicians to advance their selfish motives. From my interaction with the residents i also came to establish that this gang has been involved in murders, rape, kidnapping, exortation and sell of illegal drugs in the slum. A good number of the victims are women and small scale vendors who make very little in their businesses that end up to the hands of this gang as everyday tax. For those who failed to comply to their laws they are either beaten up or even killed if you prove sturbon.The case that happened to one Charles Otieno who was beaten up to the point of death when he refused to pay the gang any tax from his transport business.
Listening and sympathizing with the residents even as they narrated their plight. Source: Author 2017.
As a young activist it was not easy to establish who exactly Nairobi Business Community were. As I bring all this to the attention of the public I must admit that the people of Mukuru kwa Njenga are suffering under this criminal gang. They told me that they have made several attempts to escalate their grievances to the relevant authorities such as the members of local assembly and police force, but they feel that they have done but very little to help them. I therefore call upon Kenyans of good will to stand up and condemn this gang until the relevant authority wake up to do their mandate of protecting lives and property of these residents.
Addressing the residents where I promised to find an amicable solution to their problem. Source: Author 2017.
Finally, I call upon Dr. Fred Matiangi the interior cabinet secretary to strengthen the existing institutions handling the aforementioned issue. Also i request him to act upon the corrupt individuals who are making these gangs to thrive at the expense of common mwananchi.
Indeed, we must stop this Mungiki gang aka Nairobi Business Community before it becomes an elephant in the room.