Former Mungiki leader Maina Njenga has delayed the burial of his wife and nephew to attend the Cord political rally in Mombasa together with Raila Odinga next Sunday.
The burial of Mellisa Wairimu Nyambere and Njenga’s nephew and driver, Dickson Mwangi Wanjiru, has been pushed from next Saturday to June 21, because Njenga will accompany Raila to the Mombasa rally in Tononoka grounds.
The decision to change the dates was reached on June 1, when Raila and Kisumu Town Senator Anyang’ Nyong’o visited Njenga at his Karen home. Sources familiar with the burial plans yesterday said Raila had requested Njenga to change the burial dates so that he and his supporters attend the Mombasa meeting. Raila is among prominent people expected to attend the burial of the two in Kitengela.
Last Tuesday, Cord Director of Communication Philip Etale tweeted that Raila will hold a consultative meeting in Mombasa next Sunday.
Yesterday, Njenga confirmed that the burial of the two will be held on June 21, but did not discuss the issues further. Njenga has at the same time been allowed to bury his wife, who died three weeks ago, after earlier protests by a section of the Nyambere family to the effect that he had not paid dowry.
The Nyambere family had objected to their daughter being buried in Njenga’s home because the man had also never gone to them to ask for her hand in marriage, according to a relative who requested anonymity. Njenga denied that there were protests from the Nyamberes and said the burial will go one as planned.
Mellisa’s mother Nyambere, a prominent Kikuyu gospel musician, was among worshippers who attended a church service at Njenga’s Hope International Ministries church in Kitengela yesterday but did not raise any objection to the funeral plans. She confirmed Mellisa would be buried in Njenga’s farm.
Mellisa and Dickson Mwangi, Grace Wairimu Nyambere, Wairimu Chege and John Ndung’u died on May 26 near Nyahururu town when two cars she and Njenga were traveling in were attacked by gunmen who sprayed them with bullets, killing the five.
Njenga dodged death by a whisker, but sustained a bullet wound in his left shoulder. The fingers of one hand were grazed by a bullet.
Yesterday, Kitengela police chief Edward Wafula said his officers are closely monitoring events leading to the burial and that more officers will be deployed to Kitengela on the Saturday.
At the same time, a long-time associate of Njenga’s, Thiong’o Kagicha, who is said to be at the centre of the land controversy pitting two Mungiki factions, for the first time yesterday said that he was not in a fight with Njenga.
In an interview with the Star, Kagicha said Njenga was his friend and that he had welcomed him to Kitengela and helped him acquire land in the area a few years ago.
“I am only their landlord and those claiming that I am fighting with Njenga over my land are not telling the truth,” said Kagicha.
Kagicha however admitted that he was arrested in 2002 for housing a number of Mungiki members who were being sought by police. “I did not know they were followers of the outlawed sect. I was arrested and arraigned in court for housing the members, but was later released after I won the case”, Kagicha said yesterday.
Njenga has claimed that the police were behind the murderous attack on his convoy, but Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph ole Lenku and CID chief Ndegwa Muhoro have blamed the spate of attacks on infighting in the Mungiki.
– The Star