Former Mungiki Leader Maina Njenga: From Controversial Past to Political Prominence

In a recent interview on Citizen TV’s JKLive Show, former Mungiki leader Maina Njenga revealed a transformative journey from his notorious past to a current role as a leader of a peaceful initiative. Njenga, who led the outlawed sect for approximately 20 years, stated that Mungiki ceased operations after his retirement, emphasizing that he now heads ‘The Amani Sasa Foundation,’ an organization dedicated to peace and reconciliation.

Njenga addressed allegations of the Mungiki sect’s involvement in attacks and violence, particularly in the Mt. Kenya region. He refuted claims that Mungiki was a menace, attributing any violence to police provocation during anti-government protests. According to Njenga, the police were responsible for creating chaos, and he insisted that the Mungiki members were harmless.

Regarding reported incidents of extortion and murders, Njenga dismissed them as propaganda, asserting that no cases were ever reported to the authorities. He acknowledged that Mungiki might have broken the law at times but argued that the group did more good than harm, pointing to their assistance in securing places in various regions.

Njenga reminisced about the early days of Mungiki, stating that the group, whose name means “many people” in Kikuyu, was initially formed to do good. He claimed that the then-President Daniel Moi permitted Mungiki to reorganize the matatu industry, emphasizing their positive contributions despite occasional legal transgressions.

The former Mungiki leader’s remarks come in the wake of concerns raised by Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki and Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua about the alleged resurgence of the Mungiki sect. Njenga’s assertions challenge these claims and portray a different narrative of the group’s activities.

In a surprising turn of events, Njenga also shared his recent alignment with President William Ruto’s government. Previously a vocal critic, he expressed support for Ruto’s vision of a peaceful country during an interview on Meru FM. Njenga called on Kenyans to give the Kenya Kwanza administration time to deliver on its promises, urging politicians who lost in the 2022 general election to accept the democratic process.

Maina Njenga on Jeff Koinange Live, 15 November, 2023. Photo Courtesy: Citizen

Amidst these revelations, Njenga is making significant strides in the political arena. He recently announced plans for a major event on December 31, 2023, in Nyeri County, where a new Mt. Kenya kingpin will be unveiled. The event aims to bring together leaders from the region, regardless of their political affiliations, and former President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to grace the occasion.

Njenga’s political ambitions seem to be growing, as he emphasized his role as an Azimio co-principal and announced the upcoming launch of a political formation. This move has sparked speculation about whether Njenga is positioning himself as a contender for the Mt. Kenya kingpin position.

In a bid to unite Mt. Kenya leaders, Njenga dismissed rumors of animosity with Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, emphasizing their shared identity as ‘sons of Mau Mau.’ He announced plans to convene a meeting of Mt. Kenya leaders on December 31, extending invitations to Gachagua and former President Uhuru Kenyatta.

However, Njenga’s assertion that President Ruto might feel out of place at the event due to his ethnicity raises questions about the inclusivity of the gathering. Njenga clarified that the meeting is intended for individuals from the Mt. Kenya region, underlining its in-house nature.

As Njenga navigates his political journey, his alignment with different political figures and initiatives demonstrates the complexity of Kenya’s political landscape. From a former Mungiki leader to a proponent of peace and reconciliation, Maina Njenga continues to be a figure of intrigue and transformation in the evolving narrative of Kenyan politics.


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