Kikuyu elders to Ruto allies: Stop insulting Uhuru

Kikuyu Council of Elders

Kikuyu Council of Elders chairman Wachira Kiago addresses a press conference on December 18, 2020. 

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

The Kikuyu Council of Elders now wants President William Ruto’s allies to stop insulting former President Uhuru Kenyatta and in return, they will ask him to stop supporting Azimio coalition’s anti-government protests.

Speaking at a Thika Road hotel where the elders had gathered to discuss cultural issues affecting the community, they also urged President Ruto’s allies to leave Mama Ngina Kenyatta alone.

The government on Tuesday withdrew security officers from her home in Kiambu County, forcing her to hire private guards.

“Mama Ngina is a national matriarch and it is a hopeless collapse of decency to make her a subject of political conflict. Since Uhuru Kenyatta is a man first and a politician second, the worst provocation that can be thrown at him is to abuse and threaten his mother,” said council chairman Wachira Kiago.

Mr Kiago added: “We have been left speechless when we hear senior members of the Ruto government speaking very badly of Mama Ngina, the most vile being Trade CS Moses Kuria who recently threatened directly on national television to go and urinate at the pioneer First Lady’s gate.”

Former provincial administrator Joseph Kaguthi, who is a member of the council, said “politics aside, if you want real trouble with a real African man, play with his mother”.

Mr Kaguthi added: “The best way to respond to such acts of aggression against his mother is to show them that he has the ability and courage to make life difficult for them in office.

“Mama Ngina is not a politician and even if she were dependent on that theoretical definition of politics, her age, her status and the place she occupies in our history demands sensitivity in addressing her.

“We as elders are obliged to respect the government of the day and we have no problem accepting that we have a government. But this government must always strive to win over the masses.”

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has been vocal in making statements linking the Kenyatta family to all manner of misdeeds, including the seizure of Mau Mau land.

Mr Gachagua has said “those who grabbed Mau Mau lands continue to enjoy a life of affluence while freedom fighters continue to be buried in public cemeteries... they should just be good and return at least half of the lands so that the freedom fighters can own what took them to war to win us freedom”.

Before thugs descended on the Kenyatta family’s Northland plantation in Kiambu County on March 23, stealing goats as they cut down trees, dividing a section of the land among themselves before setting another part on fire, National Majority leader Kimani Ichung'wa had issued a direct threat.

“Even the land you own, we will raid it... so that those without land can have a share. Don't lie to yourself that it is the ordinary people who will lose property in the ongoing mass protests. Even you will pay the price if you continue to instigate violence and bloodshed in this country,” Mr Ichung'wa had said.

He added: “This is my message to none other than Uhuru Kenyatta, the sponsor, the sole sponsor... the sole financier of Azimio and Mr Odinga.”

These statements, the elders now say, “leave Mr Kenyatta with no option but to fight back for his family honour”.

They said they fully understand the dilemma the government is putting the former president in, where he wakes up and goes to bed having endured all sorts of petty and demeaning talk from senior government officials.

“We have heard senior Cabinet secretaries telling Mama Ngina that she should not imagine that she is in any way special because she produced the former president and was married to the founding president... such talk and one imagines that Mr Kenyatta will take it lying down... we fully understand him if he is funding the protests... we would even donate money to that cause,” said Mr Kiarie Ciombou.

Mr Kiago said DP Gachagua should defend the Kenyatta family from victimisation.

He said if Mr Gachagua and his Mt Kenya battalion feel aggrieved by any acts of commission or omission by the Kenyatta family, they should take the allegations to the council for arbitration and reconciliation.

Murang'a Woman Representative Betty Maina said: “I am against this habit of demonising Mr Kenyatta every other dawn... he is our son and no other region is fighting its own.”