The Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) is in the process of erecting museums along Mau Mau road as a way to commemorate independence war veterans.
KeNHA has written to stakeholders to identify locations where the museums will be established along the road which links counties in East and West of Aberdare forests.
In each of the four counties which benefit from the Mau Mau road, KeNHA in partnership with the National Museums of Kenya and Kikuyu Council of Elders will construct a museum after stakeholders agree on the suitable location.
Mau Mau road with a total of 500 kilometres connects Nyeri, Murang’a, Kiambu and Nyandarua counties. The construction of the road which commenced early this year is slated to be completed by May 2022.
In a letter seen by KNA, KeNHA formed county committees from respective counties tasked to conduct public participation about the museum’s proposal.
The committees are expected to agree on site for development of the museum in consideration of availability of adequate land and status of ownership.
KeNHA has also tasked the committees to recommend appropriate names of the museums taking in consideration a name of a prominent Mau Mau war hero from the respective county.
In Murang’a which has several historical sites at the periphery of Aberdare forest, the county committee is yet to agree where to set up the museum.
A section of stakeholders who form the Murang’a county committee proposes the museum to be set up at Tuthu area, a place where the Consolata Missionaries built their first Church in 1902.
The missionaries got the land from the first colonial chief in the central region, Karuri Gakure, who hails from the place.
Tuthu which is in the upper parts of Kangema Sub County is also renowned for being the origin of famous Mau Mau war veterans including General Kago and Ihura.
Already the Catholic Church has established a shrine at Tuthu where Christians go for prayer pilgrimages.
Once completed, the museums will have names of the independence war heroes among other artifacts to commemorate Agikuyu culture.
According to the chairman of Kikuyu Council of Elders Mr. Peter Mucheru Mareri, the elders will collect artifacts associated with the heroes to be preserved in the museums.
He said they already have some remains of the Mau Mau which will be kept at the museum as part of efforts to enlighten the current and future generation about the independence struggle.
“I laud the move by KeNHA to have the museums which will bring reality about the history of independence. Current generation usually reads about Mau Mau in books but with the museums, young people will have a chance to be more educated about how our forefathers struggled for independence,” Mareri noted.
Mareri said already the Catholic Church is ready to donate one acre of land at Tuthu shrine saying it’s just a matter of time for all stakeholders to agree on the better site for the museum.
“The Museum is supposed to be along the road and also there is a need to have a place with historical background and on my part, Tuthu is well suited as the facility will also promote ecotourism,” he added.
Apart from building the road to boost economic activities in counties that border Aberdare ranges, the government wanted to honour Mau Mau war heroes by tarmacking the routes used by the veterans during the fight for independence.
By Bernard Munyao