A very detailed Chilly story about the war against Mungiki. Part 1

Baby Panay

Village Elder
#1
Credit: Daily Nation
First we get to know about Kwekwe Squad leader the late Zabedayo Maina.



Chief Inspector of Police Zebedayo Maina, better known as the ruthless officer who executed criminals, may have been killed after he fell out with colleagues, an officer told the Sunday Nation.

The officer, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, said that some of his seniors became uncomfortable with Maina since 2011, after he was removed from the elite Eagle “hit” squad.
He was shot and killed on August 3 in Kitui where he was head of criminal investigations.
His killing has raised suspicions among officers as it emerged that some of those he worked with in secret police operations were involved in the shooting.
Investigations are under way to establish the circumstances in which he died.
The chief inspector was loathed and loved in equal measure.

To some, he was a diligent officer who braved the underworld of gangs and eliminated its members, no matter how hardened they were
To others, he was a rogue officer who abused his powers at will to enrich himself and eliminate whoever rivalled him.
A senior officer who spoke to the Sunday Nation described the death as a “big loss” for the police service.

According to him, not many in the police service would dare do what Maina accomplished with ease, an allusion to shooting people profiled as criminals.
Another officer said the evil he committed cancelled out his good deeds.
At one time, Maina was arrested by colleagues who did not know who he was after they found him driving a Toyota Land-Cruiser that had been reported stolen.
He made just one phone call, a senior officer ordered his release, and the vehicle was returned to him even though the bonafide owner had made a complaint.
According to this officer, Maina was a law unto himself in his heyday but since leaving the secret squad, his authority and influence diminished, and so did the flow of cash he was used to, thus putting him at loggerheads with former mates.
The officer added that seniors who had used Maina to do “dirty jobs” like extorting and eliminating business rivals were happy to have him dead.
Just like other members of police hit squads, the slain officer was largely unknown to the public.

One would be forgiven for imaging Maina as a towering giant when, in reality, his body frame looked too frail for an AK-47, his preferred weapon when pursuing alleged criminals

Maina gained notoriety in 2007 when macabre beheadings linked to the Mungiki sect were at their peak.
At the time, he headed the Eagle squad, a team made up of 14 hardcore officers who were selected from various units, especially the Special Crimes Prevention Unit and the Flying Squad.

But in 2011, the squad was disbanded and its officers, including Maina, were deployed to different stations across Kenya.
Though the squad had remained largely unknown to the public, it was famous within security circles, loathed or revered, depending on who was reviewing its operations.
It differed from other police units going by its amorphous nature and the modus operandi it adopted when executing its tasks.

The squad is believed to be responsible for the majority of police killings since 2007, most explicitly described in a confession to the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) by police constable Bernard Kirinya, who was shot dead in broad daylight outside Sarit Centre in Westlands, Nairobi.
The confession is preserved in a video recorded while the officer was hiding under a witness protection programme sponsored by the KNCHR.

The most brutal.
In the confession, Mr Kirinya said he witnessed 58 people being shot, strangled or bludgeoned to death by his colleagues; he named Maina as the most brutal.
According to him, Maina led his squad in adopting macabre killings in the war against Mungiki.

Once Mungiki was contained, the squad became the nerve centre of all police operations in regard to hunting down hardcore criminal gangs during the era of former police commissioner Major-General Hussein Ali.
Many victims of the squad were never booked in Occurrence Books (OB) when held in police stations.

In his confession, Mr Kirinya narrated how police killed most-wanted criminal Simon Matheri Ikere after he had surrendered.
“After capturing Matheri, Maina called a senior officer who he wanted to hear through the phone as he shot Matheri,” he said.
Maina shot the first bullet into the head of most wanted criminal Matheri in February 2007. He then told his juniors to take turns pumping more bullets into Matheri’s body.

The renegade officer also disclosed the capture of Rift Valley Mungiki co-ordinator Kimani Ruo and his subsequent killing.
Mr Kirinya claimed in the video that Maina’s team abducted him, held him in their car for nearly 24 hours, and finally took him to a secluded farm in Njiru, strangled him and cut his body into pieces.

There were many other extra-judicial killings, including that of a man as he lay on a bed at Makindu District Hospital moments after he had survived a police shooting.
In another incident, Maina’s team raided an upmarket apartment in Lavington and announced recovery of pharmaceuticals worth Sh10 million that had been stolen from the Port of Mombasa.
The police said the house belonged to a woman, adding that she was being sought.
However, the woman called the Nation the following day saying she had given Sh100,000 to Maina to ensure the stolen goods were transported to the residence.
She said Maina had made sure that the truck transporting the medicines was not stopped at the many police checks from Mombasa to Nairobi.
Another officer revealed how Maina made sure that all officers knew he was “the one in charge”.
During operation Ondoa Kwekwe, he said, another squad code-named Rhino was established to penetrate the matatu industry where most of Mungiki members operated from either as conductors or drivers.
The officer told how one day while on a stakeout in Buru Buru, Nairobi, Maina arrived with his team and forced his colleagues from Rhino squad to “surrender” and lie on the ground.
Maina’s team received a lot of criticism from former United Nations special rapporteur on the killings Philip Alston.
In his report to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Prof Alston accused the top police command of forming death squads blamed for the killing of 500 youths suspected to be members of criminal gangs, particularly the Mungiki.
Ballistic examination
Another story tells how Maina and his team, in response to agitation by human rights groups to submit for ballistic examination the bullets removed from victims of police shootings, resorted to cutting up bodies to extract the ammunition.
Officers in other deployments who spoke to the Sunday Nation revealed they viewed those in the special squads with awe, describing them as “untouchable”.



The squads are usually border less in
operations and traverse the whole country in pursuit of criminals.

Officers in the squads were also envied as they earned promotions “haphazardly” even at times skipping ranks, which is not the norm in the force.

In his earlier years, Mr Maina was promoted from Corporal to Inspector, skipping two ranks in between for his knack for hunting down criminals, unlike his colleagues who have to undertake courses at police training college to earn a promotion.

And when the government sanctioned Operation Ondoa Kwekwe, Maina was the obvious choice to lead it and his squad, code-named Eagle, was responsible for most of the deaths and enforced disappearances. His code name then was Eagle 1.

Officers also described their colleagues in the special deployments as “very rich” judging by the living standards of a typical police officer.

The officers owned businesses, houses and cars.

KNCHR also claimed in its report that the special squad set up an extortion cartel in which families of youths arrested were forced to pay hefty amounts of money to have them freed. Witness accounts said the rogue officers demanded between Sh10,000 and Sh1 million to free a suspect; otherwise he was killed.

On rare occasions, senior officers ordered the arrest of some of the squad’s members when investigations into criminal activities identified them as culprits.

But none was charged because they walked free after intervention of other senior officers.

Maina’s name joins a list of others who have gone to the grave with many secrets.

His missions as an undercover crime buster have remained a mystery because many allegations of the acts he and his team allegedly committed have never been proved.

Some of his colleagues claimed that he murdered detectives from other agencies who investigated cases he feared could implicate him.

At the moment, a police constable in Kitui is being investigated for Maina’s death, and other officers are already making claims of a cover-up.

Whatever the outcome, when the man is laid to rest in his rural home in Miiri, Nyeri county, his colleagues will be closing an intriguing chapter in the recent history of the Kenya police force.
 

Tom Bayeye

Village Sponsor
#2
besides patrick shaw,how many most feard cops do we have ama have had? i have witnessed a cop shooting from std chatered bank karibu na choo tom mboya street at a thug on the corner of luthuli avenue.He was feared during his time,akiingia tao unaeza tembea na phone ikiwa kwa kichwa na hakuna kusumbuliwa
 

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