Maina Njenga snip

Former Mungiki leader Maina Njenga. The OTP says the Mungiki had an organized leadership structure that went all the way to the village level (Photo/

The Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) claims that the Mungiki had an organized leadership structure which streamed all the way to the village level. This structure was respected and the members’ adherence to it was absolute. It names Maina Njenga, Charles Ndung’u Wagacha and Maina Kang’ethe Diambo as some of the key leaders of the group.

• Maina Njenga: He is identified as having been the group’s founder, spiritual leader and Chairman. He was at

“the top of the hierarchy (with) ultimate decision-making authority, and decisions with national import required his approval.”

Although Njenga was incarcerated between June 2007 and April 2009, he still

“received a constant stream of information about the organization’s activities, made decisions on important matters, and retained a veto power,” the OTP says.

• Charles Ndung’u Wagacha: He is identified by the OTP as having been the Acting Chairman, at least during Maina Njenga’s imprisonment. His role was to supervise

“the day-to-day operations and, along with other senior leaders communicated with Maina Njenga and visited him in prison.”

• Maina Kang’ethe Diambo: He is the third individual to be mentioned by name in the brief in the organization’s leadership structure. He is said to have been in charge of the group’s military element, one of which was the ‘Bagation Squad’ and which was a platoon that was allegedly composed of hard core combatants who were mainly homeless children from the slums.

• Council of Elders:

• A group of about 50-100 senior Mungiki members, “who met regularly,” the Council of Elders (CoE) is identified as the level of leadership within the group which had a “a decision making authority,” and was just below Maina Njenga and Charles Ndung’u Wagacha. Its roles included,

“resolving disputes between regional Mungiki chapters and the formation and implementation of policy.”

It had a Secretary and a Treasurer the OTP says.

• Council of Elders’ Sub Groups:

Junction Five (“J5”): According to the OTP, this was the most powerful of two sub groups within the Council of Elders. It was comprised of the group’s original members from the families of Maina Njenga (the Kamunyas) and Charles Ndung’u Wagacha (the Wagachas). This was the Mungiki’s top leadership cell and its role was to advise Maina Njenga, “formulate policy, strategy and rules.”

Mutukumi: Also referred to as the ‘Governing Council’ or ‘Big Ten’, the Mutukumi which came just below the ‘J5’, is said to have comprised the longest serving and dedicated Mungiki members. They were the most respected and were influential in the national leadership.

• Regional Chairmen: These came just below the Council of Elders according to the OTP and their

“functions generally included administering oath-taking ceremonies, adjudicating disputes, and handing down punishments to members who broke the organization’s rules. They had three coordinators and an oath administrator, referred to as a ‘Mzebu.'”

The Mzebu is said to have had Archguards who worked with him.

• Itura: Identified as coming just below the Regional Chairmen, the Itura were village-level units that had a Chairman and three coordinators. They were responsible for

“organizing meetings, passing income up the hierarchy, and resolving conflicts under the organization’s disciplinary system.”

• Platoons: They came under the local chairmen and coordinators in the leadership structure, comprising of ten members one of whom acted as a leader or chief.

“Platoon leaders were responsible for resolving conflicts, organizing meetings, communicating information, coordinating business activities, and collecting money,” the OTP alleges.

The Mungiki is no longer the powerful group it used to be and most of its leaders have since died. Maina Njenga has also left the group to form a church.