AFRICAN RELIGION

Uhuru has not confirmed visit to Nyeri shrine, elders say

Newspaper reported on Monday President had confirmed visit on November 15

In Summary

•Head of shrine says as a Kikuyu elder, Uhuru can visit the shine anytime he wants

• Government in August allowed free access to the 100-acre sacred grounds

Environment CS Keriako Tobiko with Kikuyu high priests when the government allowed access to Kiambuthia shrine in Kieni East, Nyeri, in August
BLESSING: Environment CS Keriako Tobiko with Kikuyu high priests when the government allowed access to Kiambuthia shrine in Kieni East, Nyeri, in August
Image: EUTYCAS MUCHIRI

President Uhuru Kenyatta has not confirmed he will attend prayers at Kiambuthia shrine in Kieni contrary to some media reports, the elders have said.

The coordinator of the shrine Wambugu Nyamu denied reports that the President had confirmed he would attend.

Kikuyus, Nyamu told the Star on Wednesday, hold prayers at the shrine and any member of the community is welcome.

 

He said the President, as a Kikuyu elder, can attend the prayers.

“As a Kikuyu elder, he can visit the shine anytime he wishes but only State House can confirm his diary,” Nyamu said.

Wambugu said the government had not issued any title deed or allotment letter for the shrine but only allowed access to the 100-acre religious grounds.

The shrine was handed over to Kikuyu priests by Environment CS Keriako Tobiko in August during a visit to Kiambuthia in Kieni East, Nyeri county, at the foot of Mt Kenya.

 “The government has given access, under the law that manages the forests, to the high priests and the Kikuyu community an area of 100 acres where they will be offering prayers. And the shrine is open to both traditional Kikuyus and Christians,” Nyamu said.

"The Mijikenda have the kayas, the Tugen have areas they have been allocated in the forest and allocation does not mean giving of title deeds or allotment letters but giving access.”

He said they were instructed that there should be no economic activities such as such as faming, but only prayers and the planting of Kikuyu medicinal trees.

 

The Nation newspaper on Monday reported that elders had confirmed President Kenyatta will visit the shrine on November 15.

The report further stated the Head of State was expected to officially open the shrine during the visit, after which he would join Kikuyu elders for traditional prayers.

The newspaper quoted the national vice chairman of the Kikuyu Council of Elders, David Muthoga.

But Nyamu said the elders were not aware of confirmation of the President’s visit.