John Maina Njenga is now a common name in Kenya after his recent woes with the government that saw him being arrested and taken to DCI headquarters for questioning. He is a former leader of the dreaded Mungiki gang that terrorized central Kenya. He is also a politician and his life has been that of controversy and also tremendous transformation. Back in days he was a rare figure to see in public as he kept his life low key due to his activities with Mungiki that made him a target of assassination.
He was born on January 2, 1969, in Laikipia County. Maina Njenga is a fourth born child in a family of eight children and the second son of Stephen Kamunya Njoroge and Margaret Wangui Kamunya.
He is constantly on the move, maintaining a vigilant awareness of his surroundings as he has been a victim of several assassination attempts. Maina was brought up in Karandi, Laikipia West, and attended Ol Ng’arua Primary School until 1984. He then proceeded to Ortum Secondary School in West Pokot.
Maina gained influence at an early age where he mobilized the youths to meet former President Daniel Arap Moi and he actively participated in local politics in the early 1990s. He made the youths to worship facing Mount Kenya and he quickly gained a significant number of followers due to the group’s rebellious nature. This is how Njenga established the Mungiki sect. Mungiki means ‘a united people’ or ‘multitude’ in the Kikuyu language. He fell out with president Moi when some of his Mungiki members started involving in crime.
Njenga was first jailed in 2007 for drug and firearms possession. He was released but was later re-arrested and charged with dozens of murders carried out in Nyeri. In the same year, Njenga was jailed for three years for illegal possession of firearms. He was also sentenced to a five-year jail term for murder charges, although he did not serve the full eight years. He was released in 2009.
He married Virginia Nyakio who was sadly murdered in 2009 when Njenga was still in prison. Njenga later married Grace Wairimu Nyambere, who was also murdered in 2014 by gunmen during an attack while they were traveling. From then, Njennga has kept his family under low profile with little known about his children and current wife.
Njenga is estimated to be worth Sh2 billion with properties spread in Nairobi and parts of Central Kenya. Njenga has more than seven luxurious homes spread across Laikipia, Nyandarua and Nairobi.