Mt Kenya must remain united, Justin Muturi says after Gema coronation

Speaker Muturi at Mukurwe wa Nyagathanga shrine for his coronation

What you need to know:

  • The event took place at the Agikuyu Mukurwe wa Nyagathanga shrine in Murang'a County and was attended by elders from around Mt Kenya.

National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi was Saturday named the Mt Kenya spokesman to serve as the link between the region and President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Elders led by Captain Kung'u Muigai, who is the president's cousin, said the decision to install Mr Muturi as the spokesman of the Gikuyu, Embu, Meru Association (Gema) was reached after an elaborate process .

The process, he said, included a series of consultative meetings by elders in the mountain region.

The event took place at the Agikuyu Mukurwe wa Nyagathanga shrine in Murang'a County and was attended by elders from around Mt Kenya.

Speaker Muturi arrived at the shrine at around 9am and and was accompanied inside the shrine by singled out elders referred to as “Matura Nguru” (men in the final stage of life of a mugikuyu man).

Meru, Tharaka Nithi Governor endorse Speaker Muturi's coronation

Rites followed for about five hours, with instruments used to crown him, in a ceremony led by Mr Mathenge Wairegi.

He was then adorned with the coveted Agikuyu community’s traditional leadership regalia which included a shield, club, spear, leadership stick, a three-legged fly whisk  and a hat-like item.

In his address, Mr Muturi said: "Divergent opinions will always be there but we, as a region, will have to maintain our unity because without that, we cannot get the support we need from other parts of the country.”

He added: “I will continue working with President Kenyatta and supporting his government.”

Muturi coronation: We should respect our shrine, say elders

The Agikuyu hold the shrine dear, having used it to make several historical declarations that marked political breaking points in the past.

It is also there that bigger declarations that determine the political lifeline of the community are made.

Mr Muturi's naming as Mt Kenya spokesman is expected to set the stage for political realignments in the region.

Some see his endorsement as Gema spokesman as a boost to his political ambitions.

But Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru and her Murang’a colleague Mwangi wa Iria have dismissed Mr Muturi’s elevation, saying President Uhuru Kenyatta remains the Mt Kenya kingpin.

Mwangi Wa Iria: I will safeguard shrine against Muturi's coronation as Mt Kenya spokesman

The two county bosses said the event, planned for Saturday at the Mukurwe wa Nyagathanga shrine in Murang’a County, has no political significance.

“These ceremonies will not give him an upper hand because the people of Mt Kenya never had cultural kingpins and spokespersons until the colonialists came and installed the generally unpopular paramount chiefs," Governor Waiguru said.

Mr Wa Iria had said he would not allow the ceremony to take place.


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