The Kenyan dailies are reporting that at least 29 people have been killed by suspected Mungiki members in Karatina, Central Province. The murderous sect members allegedly woke up their victims late in the night and dragged them out before hacking them to death in the middle of the road. The pictures from NTV tell it all – there were bodies littered all over the road next to a tea plantation.
This latest incident should shame the government into taking conclusive action against the sect. The government must know the sponsors of the sect. The Mungiki problem is not a criminal problem that can be remedied by targeted assassinations like the government has been doing. It is a structural problem. Jobless youth in Central Province and the wider Nairobi area have been made to feel like there is no hope and therefore they turn to crime. Killing these young men while leaving the financiers and beneficiaries of their thievery untouched will not end the problem.
29 innocent Kenyans were killed last night by young men who have been brainwashed and turned into killing machines. The actual killers must be punished, yes. But most importantly, the plotters of the massacre and the leaders of the sect – those who parade around in expensive suits and are always in and out of courts – must also face the law.
And I can’t help but wonder, was there a police station near this particular village in Karatina? And why did the police take forever to respond? It must take a bit of time to hack more than 29 people to death and burn a house or two. So why did the police turn up after the dust had settled?