Over 5,000 elders to pray for the nation in Mt Kenya forest on Friday

The chairman of Eminent elders in Kenya Captain Kung'u Muigai (centre) and other elders from Mt Kenya region, during a past function at Naromoru in Nyeri County. 

Photo credit: Pool I Nation Media Group

At least 5,000 Kikuyu elders from Central Kenya are expected to hold prayers for the country in the Mt Kenya forest on Friday.

The Kikuyu Council of Elders national patron, retired Captain Kung’u Muigai, convened the event at the Kikuyu prayer shrine in Naromoru in Mt Kenya National Park.

Speaking to the Nation on Wednesday, Mr Muigai said the elders will hold prayers to thank God for peace that prevailed in Kenya before, during and after the August 9 General Election.

"I will be leading 5,000 elders from this region for thanksgiving prayers for the peace God had bestowed in our country after a hotly contested election. We cannot take for granted the peace we are enjoying as a country," Mr Muigai said by phone.

Mr Muigai, who is also the patron of Central Kenya Kikuyu elders, appealed to Kenyans to maintain peace and not be incited to cause chaos over the outcome of the last presidential polls.

"We will pray so that Kenyans forge ahead peacefully and participate in the country's growth. Young people should stop fuelling hatred on social media platforms, because that is not healthy for our country," Mr Muigai said.

The elders will also hold a special prayer for President William Ruto's government so that he can propel the country to prosperity, he said.

"For those who won the election, time to celebrate is over. And to those who lost, it is time they moved on and [focused] on developing the country. We will pray for the country and good things will come after those prayers," he said.

In the run-up to the elections, Mr Muigai, a cousin of former President Uhuru Kenyatta, kicked up a storm after he convened a meeting with 1,500 Kikuyu elders from Mt Kenya at Kabiruini grounds in Nyeri and announced his support for Dr Ruto. The elders came from Nyeri, Kirinyaga, Murang’a and Laikipia counties.

During the meeting, Mr Kung'u announced that he had the right to support his preferred political formation just like Mr Kenya.

But Mr Muigai noted that the family was solidly united despite the different political stands he and Mr Kenyatta had taken.

Political position

“We are very much united as the Kenyatta family. We recently gathered at home for a traditional marriage. But the moment we leave the gate and come out, we become Kenyans,” Mr Muigai said.

“When he runs for office, I have always stood by him as my brother. When Mr Kenyatta was running for President in 2002, I stood by him.

“Our eldest sister Senator Beth Mugo and our uncle George Muhoho supported him. We all stood by him because he was running for [the] presidency.”

At the same meeting, Democratic Party (DP) leader Justin Muturi dismissed reports that he had betrayed Mr Kenyatta by supporting Dr Ruto’s candidacy.

Mr Muturi said he took a different political position from Mr Kenyatta’s so as to ensure that the interests of the people of Mt Kenya were protected after his exit from power.

“It is wrong for people to say that I have betrayed my friend the President. With a lot of respect, I choose to differ but we remain good friends,” he said.

“By taking different political stands, that does not mean betrayal. It is taking a different political position from the one that he has taken and that is logical.

“Since my good friend is going to retire as constitutionally mandated, we have a duty to guide our community and take them to the direction where their interests will be best catered for."

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