Snakebite squad: Meet special undercover unit targeting Mungiki, Gaza gangs

Photo:Courtesy

A special police undercover unit code-named Snakebite, has been formed to ruthlessly deal with the Mungiki and Gaza criminal gangs.

Apart from suppressing the proscribed groups, Snakebite is trailing a former chief inspector of police believed to be behind the regrouping of Mungiki, which had been vanquished following a ruthless police crackdown in 2006 ordered by then Internal Security minister John Michuki.

The ex-cop is said to be behind the Mungiki resurgence. The man, believed to be a manager of one of the matatu Saccos in Kayole, is said to be working alongside a former aide (name withheld) to Maina Njenga, who has since denounced the murderous sect. 

The former officer left the police service and ventured into the matatu business from where he started regrouping Mungiki remnants, who re-activated the gang’s networks in Nairobi and Mt Kenya region.

“The former officer and an accomplice are trying to revive Mungiki, which has reared its ugly head in Murang’a, Kayole and Mwiki. We are doing everything we can to bring down the sect and its new leadership,” said an officer.

Snakebite, comprising officers from previous crack units like Rhino, November and Kwekwe, has instructions act tough against the two gangs. The 60-member covert squad will infiltrate areas where the gangs are active.

“Those who think they can take on the State through crime have another thing coming. Snakebite will deal with them,” warned an officer.

At the height of Mungiki impunity, Rhino, November and Kwekwe killer squads were formed to deal with their menace. Hundreds of youth were killed, while others went into forced exile in Tanzania, Uganda and even Europe.

The sect’s leaders were not spared either - some of them were killed while others like Ndura Waruinge, fearing for his life, abandoned the movement.

Ndura, however, claims there is no Mungiki resurgence and what is being witnessed is a choreographed campaign to discredit certain politicians ahead of the 2022 General Election.

“It is all about succession politics in Central Kenya, where some politicians are being targeted and linked to Mungiki to tarnish their names and ruin their chances in politics.

Those who are being branded as Mungiki members are the everyday criminals. People should stop peddling lies that Mungiki is making a comeback. My fear is that many innocent youth will be killed,” says the former Mungiki national coordinator.

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