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Kikuyu elders claim religious leaders have usurped rites of passage      

A row is brewing between religious leaders and some cultural elders in Central Kenya over circumcision of young boys in the region.

The Kikuyu elders popularly known as Kiama Kia ma say the church has taken over the role of presiding over the rite of passage that has always been a preserve of the elders.

Led by Ng’ang’a wa Kiarie, the Thika Sub County Kiama kia ma Chairman, the elders said the church had overstepped its mandate and told them to stick to the pulpit and continue offering spiritual nourishment.

Kiarie said circumcision matters being a cultural issue has always been a preserve of the elders.

He was speaking at Thika during a ceremony where over 500 boys transited from childhood to manhood.

“Pastors should desist from performing cultural rituals and concentrate on spiritual matters. Circumcision has been a strict cultural issue over the years that is fully understood by elders, ” said Kiarie.

Njuguna Musembi, another elder said circumcision is a sacred stage in the boy’s life and is compulsory in the Kikuyu culture.

Some of the young initiates who went through the cut in Thika, Kiambu County on Saturday November 18, 2023.

“These rites demand meticulous and detailed observation that can only be Under the watch of elders. The church should stop being greedy for money and focus on spiritual matters,” he said.

Kiambu Deputy Speaker John Njiru called on the government to investigate incidences where some elders have been misleading the young boys to engage in illicit sex, drug and alcoholism after transiting into manhood.

Recently, there were allegations from section of female sex workers in Thika town that some elders would link them to the young boys for sex to transit them into manhood.

“We have good elders who have stuck to the good cultural practices of advising the teenage initiates to desist from alcohol, drugs and other indiscipline. We also have very dangerous ones and they will soon face the law”, said Njiru, who is also the Hospital Ward MCA.

 By Muoki Charles 

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