Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi on Saturday was crowned as spokesperson of the GEMA communities at Mukurwe wa Nyagathanga shrine in Murang’a.
The coronation went on under tight security after a section of Murang’a leaders earlier vowed to stop the occasion terming the occasion political.
Muturi was taken through rituals in the inner part of the shrine where only specific elders were allowed in.
The occasion that took more than four hours was also attended by elders from Mbeere, Embu and Meru communities.
Speakers who spoke during the event said the decision to pick Muturi as spokesperson was arrived at after long deliberation between elders of the communities which live in the east and west of Mount Kenya.
Prof. Peter Kagwanja, one of the elders said Muturi was picked from the smallest community in the region and thus he has been blessed by elders to speak on behalf of the region.
He said Muturi is not crowned as a political leader but as spokesperson from the region. “we chose a person we believed is neutral and will fairly represent this region in any kind of negotiation.”
Kagwanja stated that there was no contradiction in picking Muturi as spokesperson, saying the elders had blessing from the President in choosing the national assembly speaker as spokesperson of the community.
Patron of the Kikuyu council of elders Kung’u Muigai claimed they had blessings from President Uhuru Kenyatta.
He said elders from Kikuyu community were reached by those from Meru and Embu communities to have a spokesperson from eastern parts of Mount Kenya region.
“As kikuyu community we will stand with other communities from eastern part of Mount Kenya and have Muturi as our spokesperson. Before this position had been held by a member from Kikuyu but through wide consultations we opted to go for the Speaker of The National Assembly,” added Kung’u.
He told off the leaders who had planned to stop the occasion and termed the coronation as wicked. “we are elders and we want peace but not to create disunity and differences among our community”.
He said Muturi will be a link between the communities and the government led by President Kenyatta.
Kung’u said the president needs to be respected asking those who want votes from the region to go through President Kenyatta.
Elders from Mbeere community where Muturi hails from said the speaker had gone through all required rituals to become an elder in the community.
A section of political leaders had expressed their dissatisfaction of Muturi being crowned spokesperson of the region.
Murang’a Governor Mwangi wa Iria has condemned the occasion, saying it was wrong to coronate a political leader at the shrine which is specifically used for traditional prayers.
Scores of police officers were deployed at the shrine on Saturday morning to ensure there is security during the coronation exercise.
The elders faulted those who were against the occasion saying the shrine belongs to the community but not to an individual.
By Bernard Munyao