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Police in Murang’a are holding 23 people in custody believed to have been in the process of conducting rituals and administering oaths on Sunday, December 31, 2023, at Mukurwe wa Nyagathanga.

Eleven men, eleven women, and a young boy were found to be in possession of knives and other paraphernalia, which the police believe were used to conduct rituals.

Police, acting on a tip-off from members of the public, ambushed the group as they were slaughtering a goat at the shrine believed to be the cradle of the Kikuyu community.

Murang’a County Police Commander David Kainga stated that they were alerted to suspicious activities at the shrine by residents living nearby.

He mentioned that 10 of those arrested come from Nairobi, while the other 13 are locals. They have launched an investigation, claiming that the individuals could be affiliated with the outlawed Mungiki sect.

“We got information that there were people at the shrine and their activities were suspicious to the locals,” Kainga said.

Among the items found in the possession of the group were tobacco, horns, sugarcane, traditional muratina brew, a fly whisk, and a flag with three colours commonly associated with the sect.

“We are going interrogate the suspects to establish exactly what they were doing at the shrine and the motive behind it,” the police boss said.

He said reports of the regrouping of the Mungiki sect in the central region. They are not taking any chances and are warning locals against being duped into joining the illegal gang.

“As security officers we are on high alert to ensure such activities don’t place and we urge the members of the public to help share information should they see any suspicious activities around them” he added.

Rituals or rites
The group, however, refuted claims of being affiliated with the Mungiki sect, stating that they had gone there to learn more about cultural practices.

Waweru Chira, one of the arrested suspects, stated that this was not their first visit to the shrine. He added that they had notified the custodians of their intended visit on the day.

Chira mentioned that he has personally been involved in the rehabilitation of the shrine, which appeared to be abandoned. He even has documented evidence to support his claim.

He mentioned that the elders had approached him and appointed him as an ambassador for the shrine. Consequently, he mobilized his friends and well-wishers to come and explore what they could do to revamp the shrine.

“The slaughtering of the goat is a normal activity when people especially elders visit the shrine,” he added.

Kamau Kibe, one of the custodians of the shrine, stated that the police had been misled, adding that they would not allow any illegal activity to take place under their watch.

Kibe stated that it is wrong for the police to harass them and wrongly associate them with the outlawed Mungiki sect.

“This is a cultural centre and people are allowed to come and learn of the traditions. We were not administering oaths as it’s being claimed” Kibe remarked.

—K24 TV 

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By Editor

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