As Kenyans wait eagerly to have the BBI actualized in the constitution, there is urgent need to promote and enjoy cultural diversity that exists among communities, Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru has said.
Waiguru however cautioned that all retrogressive cultural practices should be avoided like plague and discarded, especially female genital mutilation.
She said the Council of elders, which exist in virtually every Kenyan community, should ensure they passed knowledge to the youths on how certain aspects of life were handled.
“The elders should teach the youths the various rites which are performed after a child is born, initiation to adulthood, marriage ceremonies as well as burial rites in order for them to carry on to the future generations, “the Governor said.
She also said the roles of these elders were nonpolitical but purely cultural and warned those who were out to exploit their influence in the society to steer clear from their activities.
“We have the Meru Council of Elders (Njuri Ncheke), the Kikuyu Council of elders (kiama kia ma) the Luo council of elders among others and their roles are clearly defined as custodians of culture which is under threat from the foreign influence, “she said.
The Governor was speaking at the Sun City Hotel, Sagana when she graced a meeting between Meru’s Njuri Ncheke and Kiama Kia Ma on Saturday where she underscored the need for frequent cultural exchange. She also urged the elders to embark on a vigorous campaign against gender violence, which if unchecked was threatening to tear apart the social fabric.
“Going by the rate of what the media reports and doesn’t report on all instances, our society is facing a serious challenges emanating from domestic violence especially against women and children,” she noted.
From the Meru side, their Secretary-General Josepha Murangiri led the elders while Bishop Cyrus Kithaka the Kirinyaga Council chair hosted the visitors.
Former Mwea MP Peter Gitau who is an ardent cultural believer also attended the meeting and castigated women who are said to be battering their husbands in the area.
Gitau said while husband battering was a worldwide phenomenon, it should be discouraged at all costs but blamed some men who had ruined their lives through intoxication from drugs and hard substances.
By Irungu Mwangi