Kenya: Mungiki Gang Forcing Central Women to Undergo FGM

A cultural purist gang believed to be a scion of the Mungiki sect has erupted in parts of Central region and is forcing women to get circumcised.

Its activities are concentrated in Murang’a, Kiambu, Kirinyaga, Nyeri, Nyandarua and parts of Laikipia counties.

So forceful is the gang that the Chief Administrative Secretary for Public Service and Gender Jebii Kilimo recently visited Kandara Sub-county to address the issue after a woman went public on how her husband, a member of the gang, organised a ceremony in his home, to have her and their two daughters circumcised.

“He came to our Kariti village with his members who were about 10, and said they were there to have me and our daughters aged eight and two years, circumcised. I fought and managed to run away with my two daughters,” she said.

The woman who has since been rescued by Murang’a Woman Rep Sabina Chege, to a safe house, sensationally claimed that when she reported the matter to the assistant chief, she was advised to “go and have the cut since it was no big deal and it would win me peace.”

Murang’a Senator Irungu Kang’ata said the gang has the blessings of some local unscrupulous political and cultural class.

Council of Elders

“We have some men who are saying they belong to Council of Elders and are behind the gang. It also has the blessings of some senior politicians in the region. Our security managers in this region must declare the activities of this gang as a regional disaster, and all of us politicians, must publicly denounce it, sanction its annihilation,” he said.

Gikuyu Council of Elders Chairman Wachira Kiago, said the gang exists “but is not in any way affiliated to us, neither sanctioned by us as it claims its activities are criminal and should be dealt with.”

Ms Kilimo termed the gang’s activities “silly in the 21st Century”, blaming local security chiefs of dereliction of duty.

“The County Commissioners are supposed to have come up with a measure to protect our women from this gang’s activities. It is not acceptable to have a misguided group going around telling our women that they owe the community gods the cut,” she said.

Kandara Sub-county Police boss Catherine Ringera told nation.africa that two suspects have already been arrested “and we are in hot pursuit of their ringleader.”

“The Mau Mau freedom fighters settled the community’s freedom debts through blood, sweat and tears and as far as the Agikuyu women are concerned, they owe no one blood of their private parts,” Ms Kilimo said.

Central Region Commissioner Wilfred Nyagwanga, urged victims of the gang to share information, noting that their activities were being acted upon.

“I want to assure all that our women are very safe against criminals out to harm them. We only seek genuine partnership with all stakeholders and where we will get actionable information, we will act decisively. We are also investigating some of the officers said to be colluding with the gang,” he said.

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