Kung'u Muigai defiance to his Kenyatta family pays off

Kung’u Muigai,

Kikuyu Council of Elders patron Kung’u Muigai, who is President Kenyatta’s first cousin. 

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

On February 27 last year, Mr Kung’u Muigai called Nation.Africa to reveal that President Uhuru Kenyatta was forcing Mt Kenya voters to adopt Raila Odinga presidential race against serious cultural issues.

Mr Muigai, being the first cousin of Mr Kenyatta, had strongly allied himself with Dr William Ruto's presidential bid and was more than ready to play cultural policeman of the 'royal family' and Gema by extension.

“I was the secretary in the 1969 oathing ceremonies that were executed in the Mt Kenya region and it bound us to avoid dalliance with Jaramogi Oginga Odinga who was Mr Odinga’s father.

"The founding father Mzee Jomo Kenyatta led us to bind ourselves to an oath that prohibited us to hand over power to any of the descendants of the family in question,” he said.

Mr Muigai told Nation.Africa that “until that time the oath is sanctified to open for us a cooperation window with the Odinga family, we remain in the courtship of dire consequences bordering on a serious curse as a community.”

Now, Mr Muigai says that declaration gave him lots of trouble in the Kenyatta family where "all manner of pressure was exerted against me...it was a moment of being at the receiving end of raw fury from all corners of the family".

He reveals that he was forced to call a press conference to retract the sentiments, which he agreed to but ended up reaffirming his stand against Mr Odinga candidacy.

But he says "my commitment to truth and civil decency could not let me abandon the cause that was just and safer for all of us as a nation".

Mr Muigai has now reaped from his loyalty to Dr Ruto as he was on Friday named the Kenya Cultural Centre Council board chairman for a period of two years.

The appointment was gazetted by Sports and Culture Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba.

This makes Mr Muigai to have the last laugh especially over Agíkúyú Council of Elders who have repeatedly issued pressers to distance themselves from his association with Dr Ruto.

In the run-up to the August 9 General Election, Mt Kenya elders had been split down the middle, the majority led by their Chairman Mr Wachira Kiago supporting Mr Kenyatta's preferred successor, Mr Odinga.

Mr Muigai had earlier caused a storm in Central region when he installed the then National Assembly speaker Justin Muturi as the Mt Kenya region spokesman.

Mr Muigai had revealed that there was more than spokesman politics in the move, claiming that Mr Muturi was being groomed for ultimate power takeover.

When the first family settled on Mr Odinga as the presidential aspirant, Mr Muigai repackaged Mr Muturi into the Dr Ruto camp. Today, Mr Muturi is the Attorney General.

Mr Muigai now says said it was in pursuit of a safe succession political marriage “that we as Mt Kenya elders had settled on Mr Muturi to unite us and lead us into a coalition that had no curse ramifications attached.”

He said “Mr Muturi stood as the only trusted to lead the Mt Kenya communities into a political marriage ahead of August 9 polls.”

Mr Muigai said the president’s decision to take the Mt Kenya communities down the Mr Odinga presidency was personal and for it to be sanctioned by the whole area communities, serious cleansing rights ought to have first taken place.”

He said the cleansing rituals ought to be executed by the Mt Kenya elders in conjunction with those from Luo Nyanza “rest we delve into a serious cultural quagmire of major repercussions.”

The eerie cultural dangers of a political marriage between the two regions had been captured in a 2011 song by John De Mathew titled Kunyaniai Mbaki (let's share snuff) where he said there needed to be urgent healing process between the two communities so as not to in future bring bad omen to the Mt Kenya people.

In his song, Mr De Mathew enlightened the community on the 1969 oath “whose initiation was by the big family and committed us to a long hard stance about where and where not to seek political marriages.”

Mr De Mathew had said the two communities’ frosty relations could have been healed without resorting to oaths had “that fallacy of July 5, 1969 when Tom Mboya was assassinated.”

Mr De Mathew in the song had also talked of some individuals holding on to large tracts of land as peasants squeezed in small parcels….and the ultimate abomination that saw some big family conspire with colonialists to push for the hanging of the freedom fighter maestro—Dedan Kimathi on 18 February 1957.

Majority of the freedom fighters have been arguing that Mr Kimathi was the most ideal hero and would have been the most favoured to lead the Gikuyu, Embu and Meru communities into the founding government.

“Those who conspired to have Mr Kimathi murdered are a cursed lot and his descendants should be taken care of by the government,” Mr De Mathew had belted.

 He also rooted for the cleansing of the Gema communities of the 1969 oath before he controversially died two years ago in a road accident near Thika town.

 De Mathew, who was an ardent Dr William Ruto follower, died a few months after he had released the song “Twambe Turihe Thiri (We first Pay our political debt) and had launched caravans to popularise it in Mt Kenya counties.

He died at a time when it had started emerging that President’s men were not favouring Dr Ruto to ascend to power in the coming August 9 polls.”

Mr Muigai now says part of his job will be to promote national cohesion through culture and lead communities in discarding archaic practices that erode decency, humanity and modernity.