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Government warns of re-emergence of criminal gangs ahead 2017 polls

28 February 2016, 16:24

Nairobi - Police on Friday warned of a scheme by individuals to revive organized criminal gangs ahead of the 2017 polls to unleash fear and terror activities during the electioneering period.

Inspector-General of Police Joseph Boinnet said security forces have information that outlawed sects such as Mungiki and Sungu Sungu were being resurrected.

"I wish to reiterate once again that the proscribed criminal groups such as Mungiki and Sungu Sungu among others still remain proscribed," Boinnet told journalists in Nairobi.

"However, we have noted that there are some individuals making efforts to resuscitate these groups as we approach the electioneering period," he added.

The nation has around 50 organized criminal groups; a pointer to the increasing magnitude of the problem in Kenya, leading to fears that if correct efforts are not put in place, Kenya may become a land controlled by criminal gangs.

Mungiki, which was formed in Central Kenya, had initially been crashed following shoot to kill order by former administration.

Sungu Sungu which is based in Kisii region of Western Kenya was accused of a series of brutal killings with both groups being linked to politicians.

The Somalia-based Jihadist group, Al-Shabaab which operates along the common border of the two countries and frequently makes incursions into Kenyan soil is one such organized criminal gang.

The group also has a cell in Eastleigh in the eastern side of Nairobi city where they used to engage in bombing civilian targets.

Secessionist group, Mombasa Republican Council (MRC) has also been listed as an organized criminal gang operating in Kenya.

The group, which is active at Kenya's coastal region, has been agitating to break away from the larger Kenya, owing to what they claim is the regions marginalization by successive regimes.

Under their clarion call "The coastal region is not in Kenya", the group has wreaked havoc to residents of the region.

So daring has been the group that unlike other gangs, they are bold enough to carry out their atrocious operations even in broad daylight.

"We therefore warn that any moves by such groups or their agents will be met by the full force of law and will not be allowed to thrive," he said.

The police chief said security officers in collaboration with the government are determined to root out their illicit activities and warned any public officer found complicit with these individuals that they will be dealt lawfully.

- Xinhua


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