By Kurgat Marindany
In a move likely to spark political jitters across the county, former Interior Cabinet Secretary and gubernatorial hopeful, Joseph Lenku was recently endorsed by a section of Kikuyu Council of Elders who termed him as the ideal Jubilee candidate.
In a traditional ceremony conducted at Rangers Club in Kitengela, the elders vowed to back Lenku as the flag bearer.
The move, however, elicited opposition from Kajiado North Gikuyu elders who swiftly questioned the decision by colleagues in Kajiado East to initiate Lenku into a Gikuyu elder without consultation.
A section of elders allegedly approached Lenku, and ‘duped’ him into slaughtering three goats for them so he can be made a Gikuyu elder.
Peter Ndungu and Aloice Mwai, who attended the ceremony, however, claimed Lenku was never made an elder or given ‘Muthengi’ stick as a sign of leadership.
Those supportive of the move, however, said Lenku underwent several Kikuyu traditional rituals, including a special meat eating session in the presence of elders only.
The ritual also entailed vows that he will remain loyal to the Kikuyu community. He was also recognized as a respectable friend of the Kikuyu community and given the mandate and authority to join them in elders’ high profile meetings which influence decision-making in the community.
Olkeri Ward MCA, Onesmus Ngogoyo, however claimed Lenku was never endorsed by the Kikuyu elders, but only joined a club of ‘non-decision makers’ to allow him eat meat with the Kikuyu elders.
King’ori Waithaka, Kajiado North Gikuyu elders’ chairman, explained that Lenku went to Ranger Club with three goats against the Kikuyu tradition. He says initiation of a particular individual into leadership position is a process and not a matter to be hastily decided upon.
Waithaka said initiation of such a kind is never made public and the media is never invited.
leader of integrity and a leader who will be able to unite all residents irrespective of tribe and affiliations. We have keenly and silently been following all interested candidates and we have settled on Lenku despite having two candidates from our community, said another elder Njeru Kariuki
Some of the elders said they have seen the fruits of Nyumba Kumi initiative which has boosted security and that was among Lenku policies that is currently being implemented.
“Kenya politics today entails electing leaders who have all people at heart and can drive development agendas for the benefit of all. Will no longer just vote for a Kikuyu simply because we are Kikuyus but we must critic and analyze the capability of each candidate,’’ said yet another Njari Ndei
Receiving the endorsement, a delighted Lenku praised the move saying it comes to him as a pleasant surprise which he believes will have a big impact in his quest for votes.
“I was approached by three Kikuyu elders who invited me for a ceremony they did not disclose what it was all about. I am overwhelmed that they have keenly been analyzing candidates and they settled on endorsing my candidature. It is a significant day of my political career, ‘’said a jubilant Lenku.
The endorsement comes barely a month after the former CS was endorsed by Maasai elders of the Seuri age. The move by the Maa community men aged between 65-75 years was also aimed at ending the political rivalry between Lenku and the current Interior CS, Joseph Nkaissery who is also a Seuri.
Meanwhile, Ngogoyo claimed 500 elders met in Olkeri, on the day Lenku purported to have been endorsed at Rangers Club in Kitengela, and endorsed Tarayia ole Kores as a Gikuyu leader.
The occasion, as the Gikuyu tradition demands, was done secretly after the elders had feasted and demanded Kores to tell them what he will do for them once he is elected governor.
“The elders accept an individual after a series of consultation. The gods are consulted and when answers from heaven have been received, the person is prepared and must go through three stages,” he added.
Such a person is requested to present the first goat (Hoka) to the elders in the first year. Hoka allows one to eat meat with the elders.
The second goat (Mborua ya Kiema) is handed over to the elders when one marries and this is said to qualify one to be accepted in the community as a father.
Waithaka said the third goat (Horyio) is handed to the elders in a big ceremony to be held in the bushes in camera, where a man is handed a Muthengi stick to lead the herds (people).
“He was never given a white cap made of sheep skin. That is fake endorsement, and as an elder I put to question his endorsement. Let him come out clean on the same. We have our own values which we will guard to the last man,” said Waithaka.
He claimed Lenku never passed those processes and, therefore, he cannot purport to have been endorsed by anybody.
Pro-Lenku elders showered with praises of his ability and leadership skills, saying he is the man who has stood out with the agenda of uniting all communities in the cosmopolitan region.
‘’We as influential community leaders want a
By Kurgat Marindany