Mungiki crackdown in Murang’a comes back to haunt AP officer

AP officer Apollo Kahungu.

An AP officer in active service is living a dejected life, haunted by the 2008 crackdown on the Mungiki sect.

Apollo Kahungu recounted how his involvement in the crackdown against the sect in Murang’a county, particularly in his home area, returned to haunt him, making life unbearable

“I joined the service in 2006 and was seconded to the rapid deployment unit,” he said, narrating that he would later be deployed to Murang’a county for the crackdown.

In 2008, Mungiki gang was a menace, conducting violent raids in homes and shopping centres, abducting young men whose bodies would later be retrieved in rivers and thickets. 

The government deployed officers and mysterious disappearances of the sect members were regularly reported.

Kahungu’s involvement in the crackdown in Murang’a seems back to retaliate, but through the system.

Having grown up in the area, some elements sympathetic to the sect marked him up, linking him to the disappearance of the sect’s members, he told the Star. 

They had conveyed threats to his life many times before, he said. 

“In 2013, I got transferred from our station in Embakasi to Murang’a, the very area where i had received numerous threats. I felt my life was in danger,” he said. 

“I explained the danger I perceived to my bosses but this fell on deaf years.”

Nonetheless, he reported on duty in the area, explaining that he would be trailed by unknown persons occasionally. 

One day, some people came to a base where he was with his colleagues inquiring about him, requesting to see him but he got suspicious. 

“I sent one of my colleagues to spy on them and determine who they were because I suspected they were Mungiki operatives who had been baying for my blood for sometime,” he said.

His colleague’s answer was affirmative. These were Mungiki members. At this point, Kahungu escaped from his base to Kangema AP line camp, whose boss allowed him to stay there.

“A few weeks later while on patrol, I was hit by a car, sustaining a critical injury that left me on a wheelchair and now with scratches,” he said.

While still recuperating, Kahungu was surprised to received a transfer letter, deploying him to another sub-county in Murang’a.

“Even before I could be able to walk, I got transferred and later I was accused of not reporting for duty,” dejected Kahungu said.

His inability to report to the new station compounded his intrigues, at point being ejected from Kangema AP line base by the station head, arguing Kahungu was not under his jurisdiction.

He has written to the Internal Affairs Unit and National Police Service Commission in vain.  

His salary would be stopped in May 2016. He visited Jogoo House to lodge his complaints, a move that got him reinstated, his salary arrears paid and deployed to the legal office at the headquarters.

But this was not to last as he got summoned by a senior office who ordered him to be back in Murang’a.

“Despite my plea that my life would be endangered in Murang’a due to the operation against Mungiki, he insisted that I would not be the first officer to die on duty,” he said.

His tribulations only grew worse, seeing him eventually suspended nine months ago and his salary stopped, again.

“I was told to go to Murang’a and pick a letter, which actually, was a suspension letter.”

Kahungu said all the while, he would still be reporting to his work station in Jogoo House, which he did until last month.

Late last month, he said, a senior officer at Central police station impounded his scooter, and ordered him to surrender his certificate of appointment and certificate identifying him as a person living with disability.

“I’m disabled in the line of duty, i have no salary yet my wife is jobless, my children cannot go to school and we have no food. I’m frustrated by my seniors without any cause,” he said.

Ipoa spokesperson told the Star the authority is a ware of Kahungu’s case and are working on it to resolve it.

Asked whether he has contemplated resigning in light of the frustrations, Kahungu said quitting the service would expose him to the dangers of Mungiki even further.

“I have not contemplated resigning. I have instead asked to be transferred to any place but not Murang’a,” he said. 




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