When Kumekucha last week exclusively revealed how the wife of jailed Mungiki leader was raped and executed and those behind it, some readers who commented on the story reacted in the characteristic Kenyan style of dismissing things at the face value without weighing the underlying facts.
Just before the dust settled on the grisly killing of Virginia Nyakio, the wife of the outlawed sect’s jailed spiritual leader Maina Njenga, and her driver, Mr George Njoroge, Maj Gen Mohamed Hussein Ali’s killing machine struck again just yesterday (Monday) afternoon.
The latest victims, Mr Charles Ndungu Wagaca, the chairman of the Kenya National Youth Alliance (KNYA), and his driver, Mr Naftali Irungu, died in a hail of police bullets on the Nairobi-Naivasha highway near Uplands.
Mr Wagaca was a brother of Nyakio, the wife of the outlawed sect’s jailed spiritual leader Maina Njenga, whose execution, plotted by Maj Gen Ali’s newly-formed Eagle Squad, early this month sparked riots by Mungiki adherents in Nairobi, Central and Rift Valley provinces.
You can read the Kumekucha exclusive on how Nyakio was executed HERE
Kumekucha wishes to reiterate here that it does not condone or support in any way the activities of the dreaded Mungiki sect or its political wing, the Kenya National Youth Alliance (KNYA), or any other person bent in breaking the laws of our beloved country – be it criminals, the political establishment, security agencies or any other individual. The Law of the Land makes all of us equal and those who bend it should be severely punished as per that law.
Our concern, hinged on sanctity of human life regardless on who is involved, is the primitive way the Kenyan police, under the stewardship of Maj Gen Mohamed Hussein Ali, have chosen to transact official business in the recent years under the guise of fighting run-away crime.
The Kenya Police is part of the disciplined forces and its officers, right from their commissioner down to the constable, are supposed to uphold the rule of law and not to resort to the rule of the jungle. Under Maj Gen Ali, the Kenya Police has killed more Kenyans – whether criminals or innocent – than the combined tenures of post-independent police commissioners.
The way the Kenya Police has been conducting its business since Maj Gen Ali was appointed commissioner begs serious fundamental human rights questions - What is the difference between the police now and the criminal gangs they are mandated by law to apprehend?
For readers who might not be in the picture, the only way Maj Gen Ali seems to have perfected under the guise of fighting crime is rounding up suspects – both real and imaginary – and executing them in gangland-style. The police are only one wing of the criminal justice system. What’s the use of having courts, the AG’s office, prisons, lawyers, the prosecution etc if Maj Gen Ali’s kind of policing was to be tolerated in our civilised society? It means the police can declare you a criminal and execute you with impunity!
The police declined to take responsibility after Monday’s killing of Mr Wagaca and his driver. If Maj Gen Ali thinks that his actions and those of his officers are within the law, why doesn’t he take responsibility to such executions? Why wouldn’t he take responsibility for the killing of more than 4,000 youths who were rounded up from their homes by his officers and executed without a trace of their bodies last year? Why can’t he take responsibility for the primitive killing of Nyakio and her driver if he believes he was operating within the law? Aren’t these acts of extreme cowardice from a man entrusted in the security of 33 million Kenyans?
Kumekucha has established beyond any reasonable doubt that Monday’s executions in full public view were carried out by the Eagle Squad, an elite unit that was recently formed by Maj Gen Ali to replace the Kwekwe Squad. In keeping with their tradition of covering up the evils and acts of gross abuse human rights by Maj Gen Ali, the mainstream media – TV stations, radio stations and newspapers – opted not to directly tell their views, listeners and readers that the executions were carried out by the police. Why? Because Maj Gen Ali is in bed with a cross-section of top media managers – which was facilitated by his girlfriend and proprietor of Kameme FM, Ms Rose Kimotho.
A man who witnessed the executions could not describe it better: He told journalists the killers identified themselves as police and that ‘‘they looked like thugs.’’ Why should a disciplined security agency want to disguise itself like criminal gangs?
There is no doubt that Maj Gen Ali has a firm grip on the media in Kenya and he has a free hand to dictate the crime and security news, most of which are distorted, Kenyans and the world get from the Kenyan press.
On the executions, crime journalists have happily reported the lies from Police Headquarters suggesting that the killings were carried out by rival Mungiki gangs as a result of a leadership split in the sect. What nonsense is that!
Responsible journalists all over the world owe their loyalty to their readers, listeners and viewers and not to the news-makers and interested groups. Responsible journalists don’t just publish or air any lies just because it has been said by a news-maker. They owe their readers and listeners the truth and not cheap lies aimed at diverting public attention.
Before Monday’s killings, people close to the slain victims told journalists that they were being trailed by police vehicles. So, why have journalists let the police off the hook?
A farmer who witnessed the killings from his farm said he approached the crime scene and the killers identified themselves as the police. When a journalist asked him how they looked like, he said: “They looked like ordinary thugs but were confident ... they seemed very happy after accomplishing the mission.”
Why should a disciplined force stoop so low and behave like highway robbers? Kumekucha has previously reported how members of the Eagle Squad camouflage themselves like Mungiki. They kill Mungiki-style and they use car hire vehicles instead of police cars.
The earlier it dawns on Kibaki’s Administration that Maj Gen Ali was a liability to his Government the better. Security agencies worldwide invest heavily in intelligence gathering to pre-empt crimes before they are committed. But Maj Gen Ali’s poor leadership has killed vital agencies like the CID, which was once rated second in Africa, and the police have been left to do the chasing after criminals have done their act and taken off.
In a desperate move to appease his political godfathers and to be seen to be working very hard, Maj Gen Ali has perfected what he knows best – the power of the gun. Thanks to Maj Gen Ali, morgues and the entire funeral industry across Nairobi, Central and Rift Valley provinces have been doing a booming business while wild animals in Ngong Forest and Tana River crocodiles have never had a shortage of nyama za binadamu!
Guns alone will never end crimes from our streets, highways and homes. The police in Kenya have been killing robbery suspects for more than a decade and this has not driven criminals off the streets or deterred new ones. In the same argument, if last year’s executions of more than 4,000 youths was effective to wipe out Mungiki, we would not have seen any of their members blockading roads the other day.
The elimination of mungiki and other organised criminal gangs from Kenya requires a more intelligent approach rather than the chest-thumping tactics employed by the military-minded Maj Gen Ali.
Instead of perfecting the art of gangland executions and killing the institutions he found in the Kenya Police in a desperate attempt to undermine his would-be successors, Maj Gen Ali should use the top brains in the force to come up with a long-term strategy to gather intelligence and pre-empt crimes.
Where else in the world would the police be caught napping like what happened early this month when Mungiki criminal gangs staged a massive protest in Nairobi, Central and Rift Valley province paralysing road transport and other businesses for a whole week? Had that happened in countries with visionary political leadership, Maj Gen Ali, NSIS Director General Brig Michael Gichangi, AP Commandant Kinuthia Mbugua and other heads of key security agencies would have been sent packing that very morning.
As long as we have a visionless president and who is in office on the account of stolen presidency, Maj Gen can sit pretty tight in his posh office and carry on with his evil acts of painting Kenya red with human blood of real and imaginary enemies. Maj Gen Ali can take solace in the face that we have a president who runs the country on an auto-cue leadership similar to the art pilots use to fly planes. Kibaki hears and sees no evils. He just wanted to be president of the Republic of Kenya and he achieved his life-time political dreams.Maj Gen Ali should lead a civilised police force not a band of serial killers under the guise of fighting crime. It’s time human rights groups applied pressure on the international community to have Maj Gen Ali charged at the International Court with Crimes Against Humanity.
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