Maina Njenga: My abductors were friendly criminals


• He narrates that during his abduction, he was fed chicken and in the end given fare to his home.

Politician Maina Njenga speaking at an exclusive interview during a courtesy call at Radio Africa offices, Westlands on November 8, 2023

Politician Maina Njenga has relived his harrowing 24-hour ordeal in the hands of abductors.

Speaking to the Star, the former Mungiki boss said he was accosted and whisked into a vehicle by a gang of balaclava-clad men in mid-September in Kiambu.  Njenga described the kidnap gang as “friendly criminals”.

The squad, who he suspects were the police, left no part of their face visible and even if he met them today he would not know who they were.

He could not even peer into their eyes because the men wore dark glasses.

“They sandwiched me in the back seat. I was made to sit between two hefty men. They handled me gently, even when blindfolding me,” he said.

The car drove for about two hours before it stopped and he was handed over to a second set of abductors.

Shortly after, he was told to alight and was taken to a house which he described as a safe house after climbing stairs (he estimates 10 floors) his blindfold was peeled off and he found himself in a very well furnished apartment.

When climbing stairs two men held his hands so that he could not fall. 

After landing in the apartment, a different set of men, this time without balaclavas interviewed him for long about his relationship with Azimio chief Raila Odinga and why he was involved in organising maandamano.

“I even asked for chicken and they would make sure I have it. The guys could cook or just bring food in and I had no way of knowing from where. But even as I ate, I was telling myself if these guys want to poison me, I am ready. I had nothing to fear,” he stated.

Maina said the kidnappers were very friendly and even referred to him as chairman when taking him away from his Banana home in Kiambu.

Njenga added that they had friendly conversations as the vehicle moved around for about two hours.

“They were good criminals. Even when we got out of the car, they held my hands and told me where to step as we went to the house where they kept me,” he stated.

Njenga said the house was self-contained and fully furnished with a boardroom.

“Inside the house, the abductors wore masks and I was not blindfolded. We would chat about general things but they kept telling me I caused problems during the Opposition demonstrations,” he stated.

Njenga said he told them all he wanted was leaders to sit down and talk about issues affecting Kenyans.

 “I asked them why they did not go for Baba and they said I am the one who mobilised people during the demonstrations,” he added.

Njenga was dumped in Limuru, Kiambu County, at about 10.15 pm on Saturday, September 16 and offered fare home after being warned not to say anything about his ordeal.

While setting him free, they told him that he had been dropped about a kilometre from his home. 

He jumped on a motorbike even though the gang handed him Sh2,000 with which to grab a taxi.

The release came hours after the Azimio La Umoja coalition said Njenga was taken by rogue police officers who did not identify themselves.

“The abductors were therefore easily part of the Special Support Unit that terrorized Kenyans during the anti-tax protests. The SSU is therefore very much alive, active and determined to intimidate and even harm Kenyans,” said Azimio in a statement.

The police are yet to comment on the issue.

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