MUNGIKI-Woman killed as gang hunts suspects
Violence escalated in Kirinyaga on Thursday as a woman was hacked to death by a vigilante group that has engaged police in a cat and mouse chase.
In an ominous sign that vigilantes hunting Mungiki have turned into death squads, they killed Ms Jane Nyaruai, the head teacher of Kiangai Primary School, in broad daylight.
Standard Group journalists arrived before the police to find Nyaruai writhing in pain outside her smoldering house.
The incident captured on camera set the police into action, with spokesman Eric Kiraithe declaring an operation to dismantle the gangs. The incident occurred at Kiamoe village, near Kiangai trading centre.
The murderous gang that claims to be hunting members of the outlawed Mungiki had set her house and vehicle on fire before slashing her with pangas.
Numbering about 500, they proceeded to another home and asked for Mr Samuel Kinyua. They set his house on fire after establishing that he was not at home.
“We wanted to save her life by taking her to hospital, but the gang threatened us,” said a KTN journalist at the scene.
The violence follows a week of lawlessness in Kirinyaga and Nyeri East, where suspected Mungiki gang murdered 29 people on Monday night. Vigilantes have killed more than 15 people they claim to be Mungiki members.
Yesterday, it turned out a family member may have set up the slain teacher following a dispute over the estate of her late husband. Residents said the gangs are now being used to settle scores.
Kinyua’s wife, Mrs Mercy Wambui Kinyua, said a family member set up her husband. Speaking at the scene, Kiraithe said it was now clear the vigilantes were being used to fight personal vendettas. He said police did not support the vigilantes.
Meanwhile, a planned parade of organisers of Monday’s killings failed to take off in Nyeri.
Kiraithe said the law enforcers needed more time to complete their investigations.
Elsewhere, five suspected Mungiki sect members were killed in Nyahururu town as the crackdown on the sect members continued in Central Province. Two of the suspects were shot at Ziwani estate while the other three were shot at Marmanet forest.