Murang’a elders defend installation of Speaker Muturi

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A section of members of the Kikuyu Council of Elders have downplayed the cleansing of a Murang’a shrine after the controversial installation of National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi as spokesperson of Gema Communities.

The elders said they did nothing wrong when they used Mukurwe wa Nyagathanga shrine to crown Muturi as spokesperson of communities living in the East and West of Mount Kenya.

Led by officials of the Kikuyu Council of Elders Murang’a branch, the elders who met in a Murang’a hotel, downplayed the cleansing ceremony which was conducted by another faction of elders to crown the national assembly speaker.

The council’s branch chairman Kiarie wa Chombou said they are behind Muturi and those opposing their choice should bring in another person who will be unanimously supported by all elders.

“We know there are differing views but we settled on Muturi after in depth deliberations. The negotiations involved elders from Meru, Embu, Tharaka and Gikuyu elders. The fact is as elders we are united and behind Muturi,” Chombou added.

After installation of Muturi, a section of leaders led by Murang’a governor Mwangi wa Iria dismissed the occasion and accused Muturi of trying to take the mantle of leadership of Mount Kenya region from President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Last week, another group of elders conducted what they termed as cleansing of Mukurwe wa Nyagathanga saying it was abused during crowning of Muturi.

The installation of Muturi is seen to have taken a political angle as some leaders’ fear Muturi is being groomed to take over after President Kenyatta completes his second term.

“As elders we are not political but as spokesperson Muturi is supposed to link people of the mountain with the government,” observed the secretary of the council Samuel Ng’ethe.

The patron of the council Professor Peter Kagwanja stated that Uhuru is the head of the nation and he unites all communities but for the sake of Mount Kenya people, they settled on Muturi.

He welcomed those with different views but said elders from the Kikuyu community visited those in Meru and Embu and agreed on Muturi as their spokesperson.

“There was no need to have a cleansing ceremony since no one abused the shrine by crowning Muturi. Agikuyu, Embu and Meru people are of the same community. No big difference,” Kagwanja said.

Installation of Muturi, he said, was meant to bring inclusivity among communities living in Mount Kenya region.

“Those who said the shrine was abused have no right to do so. Those who opted to cleanse the shrine, we respect their move but to us it means nothing,” he added.

He said as elders they aim to create a moral nation which is guided by principles but not money and politics.

“It should be known that we did not coronate Muturi, coronation is done for kings, we just blessed him to be our spokesperson,” Kagwanja further averred.

By Bernard Munyao

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