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Looks like a dialectal equivalent of the same word to me. Swahili had a sound change that deleted /r/ and /l/ between the last two vowels, so most words that end with two vowels originally had an /l/ or /r/ and this is preserved in some dialects ... eg. njaa is pronounced njala in the D.R. Congo.
Is it very wrong to translate it as centipede? Because for westerners they're all creepy long things with many legs, and only when you want to go scientific you distinguish them from millipedes. I don't know if for Swahili speakers they are two very different things or if they also see them as very similar