Nairobi, Kenya, May 10, 2008 / 23:22 pm America/Denver (CNA).
Church leaders in central Kenya have asked the government to enter talks with a banned ultra-traditionalist tribal sect that has both committed bizarre murders and extortion while campaigning to impose circumcision and a strict dress code on women.
Anglican, Presbyterian, and Catholic leaders, including Cardinal John Njue, delivered a joint statement at Holy Family Basilica on Thursday. They said that the Kenyan government has not been able to subdue the powerful Mungiki sect. According to the Catholic Information Service for Africa (CISA), the church leaders called for the release of the Mungiki leader Maina Njenga, who is in prison for illegal possession of firearms. The prelates called him one of the country’s “renowned personalities.”
In their statement, the church leaders accused the government of “denying the obvious.”
“This group is not a small force to dismiss with television and radio statements. There is a need [for] another strategy to deal with this sect,” they said.
Kenya Prime Minister Raila Odinga has called for dialogue with the group, saying talks are ongoing.