DISTANCE THEMSELVES

We are not goons for hire, Nyeri porters tell politicians

Nyeri county commissioner David Kipkemei recently vowed to hunt down leaders of groups used by politicians to disrupt meetings

In Summary

• Nyeri Town Focused Beba Self Help Group chairman Nicholas Warui also warned politicians against associating them with the hooligans.

• He said some politicians have been going around claiming that beba bebas and boda boda riders are among those used to cause chaos in meetings.

Nyeri town bebabebas during one of their regular meetings.
Nyeri town bebabebas during one of their regular meetings.
Image: EUTYCAS MUCHIRI

A group of Nyeri porters has distanced itself from claims they are being used by politicians to disrupt political meetings.

Nyeri Town Focused Beba Self Help Group chairman Nicholas Warui also warned politicians against associating them with the hooligans.

He said some politicians have been going around claiming that beba bebas and boda boda riders are among those used to cause chaos in meetings.

 

“There may be some from other beba beba groups who have been used to do so but let it not be a blanket condemnation to spoil our good image,” he said.

Nyeri county commissioner David Kipkemei has vowed to hunt down leaders of groups used by politicians to disrupt meetings.

Nyeri town bebabebas at a meeting.
Nyeri town bebabebas at a meeting.
Image: EUTYCAS MUCHIRI

Kipkemei's directive followed last month's fracas at a meeting attended by Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri.  

But Warui said his group is not involved in criminal activities as they are self-regulated and have mechanisms of punishing wrongdoers.

Early this year, the group which operates near the Nyeri open-air market introduced green dustcoat uniforms and job identity cards to weed out criminals elements amongst them.

They also registered a self-help group to cater for their welfare.

The group has more than 70 people and vets new members to ensure they have no criminal records.

 

The members who spoke to the Star on Thursday said they have a job to do, a future to guard and families to provide for.

Nyeri town bebabebas during a meeting on Thursday.
Nyeri town bebabebas during a meeting on Thursday.
Image: EUTYCAS MUCHIRI

They said they had no business receiving cash handouts to cause chaos in political meetings.

 “Some politicians have been claiming that there are some beba bebas being used which could be true but we are not a party to that,” Warui said.

He also denied that there are members of the outlawed Mungiki sect in the group saying they do not support the sect’s activities.

Jeff Kinuthia, also a beba beba, said most of the porters in the town are people of good character and who respect their work.

“We respect our work and most of the time we do not attend political meetings and so let no one associate us with the chaos that occur in political meetings,” he said.

They called on other bebas who may have taken part in such activities to refrain from being misused.

(edited by O. Owino)