A week before Maina Njenga was shot at in Ol Kalao, The Nairobian published a story in which we spoke to Mungiki insider who simply stated, “Maina Njenga must die.”
The words were almost prophetic seeing that it was barely a week before the former Mungiki leader’s car was riddled with 25 bullet holes.
While Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Ole Lenku quickly denied that police were involved, Maina has been adamant that the attempted murder was executed by police officers.
Ole Lenku instead blamed infighting in Mungiki for the gun attack as authorities named those who were killed.
“Those are Mungiki factions who are fighting for the control of property. We do not know the attackers but officers on the ground are now handling the case,” said Ole Lenku. Njenga has, however, dismissed the claims that the attempt on his life has to do with a Mungiki splinter group.
“This is purely police. They shot at me. They are trained men and they knew what they were doing. They weren’t Mungiki. They weren’t amateurs,” said Njenga on May 27. He further claimed that there alleged dispute over property is just a means created by police to try and divert attention from the fact that his life is in danger.
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“I bought the land I own using my money. It’s not land owned by Mungiki, but when police say Mungiki are fighting me over land, it then looks like in case anything happened to me, it will be blamed on Mungiki,” Njenga said although he didn’t specify why the police want him dead.
“I believe they are the same people who said that I had been stabbed last year. Total lies. I have never been stabbed by anyone, and despite what happened, I will not be cowed. I will continue preaching the gospel.” He dismissed allegations that he was using the church as a cover. “That’s between me and the God I serve. Only God can judge me. I quit my earlier life, and I am straight forward in serving the Lord. I will not stop, come bullets or any storm. The God I serve is faithful,” Njenga added.
Our source within Mungiki said that another attempt will soon be made on Maina Njenga’s life. “Ni vita ilianza kitambo, na mwisho wake ni atumalize ama tummalize (someone has to die between us and him),” said our source who insisted it was not the police who shot at Maina, but disgruntled Mungiki members.
Another source had earlier told us that, a ‘general’ had been sent to Nyandarua to marshal forces in preparation for what they promise will be a war of attrition against the Njenga group.
“We expect him to be back by Thursday or Friday (May 29 or 30). Alienda kutafuta jeshi sababu huku Nairobi na Nakuru, ni watu wa Maina Njenga. Liwe liwalo, Maina lazima amalizwe (he went to look for an ‘army’ because Njenga must die),” he said.
Nyandarau is Njenga’s birthplace but it is now believed to be the bedrock of his estranged brother Kamunya’s support, who is opposing him. It is thought that the bulk of Maina’s followers are in Nairobi and Nakuru where he is said to have founded the movement in the late 1980s.
Our source said the splinter group is no longer interested in talks and has vowed Maina must face the ultimate punishment for turning his back on the sect.
“Maina swore an oath when he was in Mungiki: never to leave the group or reveal its secrets. He personally made others swear the same oath. Now he has left the group. What befalls the others he has left behind?” asked our source.
The genesis of Njenga’s problems with Mungiki started way back in 2009 when after being acquitted of a criminal offence, he got saved and renounced the sect’s activities.
But the differences became pronounced last July when a Mungiki regional commander allegedly stabbed Maina in the abdomen after a disagreement in his vast Kitengela estate.
Although he vehemently denies the incident, witnesses claimed the incident occurred when Njenga called a meeting of other Mungiki members to discuss how to share the group’s wealth