• We are all hurting because of the killing of the two youths. Innocent blood has been shed because of political interests. This is the last time our children die for someone to gain politically.
•The two were recruited by politicians in the melee that broke up DP Ruto's visit.
Christopher Kariuki, 15, and Peter Mbothu,21, will be the last to die in Mount Kenya region due to heartless political anarchy, elders from the Gema communities have declared.
The two youths - exploited and ferried to Kenol town to cause violence - were laid to rest on Friday as a grieving and furious community said no more deaths instigated by politicians would be allowed.
Their Requiem Mass was said at Mount Kenya University Pavilion grounds in Thika.
The two youths were killed on October 4 after chaos erupted between two rival political factions during Deputy President William Ruto’s visit to AIPCA Church in Kenol town, Murang’a.
A police intelligence report said violence was planned in advance and youths were 'imported'. When the other side got wind of the impending attack, they planned a counter attack, the intelligence report said.
Both sides have blood on their hands.
The elders included the Kikuyu Council of elders, Kiama Kia Ma, Njuri Ncheke elders, the Embu council of elders and elders from other communities took part in the service.
They condemned politicians who have been sowing political divisions in the Mt Kenya region, in the guise of championing the region's interests.
Led by Kikuyu Council of Elders chairman Kigoci Waimeri, the elders said the mayhem that led to the deaths of the two youths was organised by politicians who care about no one but themselves. Youths are dispensable, give them a little money, buy them some drinks and lunch, send them off to cause havoc.
“We are all hurting because of the killing of the two youths. Innocent blood has been shed all because of some individuals’ political interests," Waimeri said.
"This is the last time our children shed blood or lose lives for some people to gain politically or to get political seats. No parent gave birth for their children to be killed in political wars,” the elder said.
It’s very sad poor are killing each other over politics. I plead to our children not to be fooled with little handouts by politicians to engage in political anarchy.Elder Kimani Maigua
Waimeri said that the political tensions, being fuelled by a section of politicians who are seeking high political offices in the 2022 General Elections, will drag the country back to where it was during the 2007-08 post-election violence if untained.
“This kind of politics, of causing mayhem and disarray, is opening wounds of the 2007 PEV where innocent children were locked up in a church [in Kiambaa] and burnt to death.
"We should not allow ourselves to slide back there. Elders have worked tirelessly and managed to broker peace and therefore we must protect that peace by locking out politicians hreatening it,” the chairman said.
Elder Kimani Maigua called on youths to reject being used by politicians in their wars. Instead they should improve their lives by engaging in agricultural activities, enrolling in vocational colleges to acquire life-changing skills and using state funds to initiate their own income generating activities, he saids.
“It’s very sad that the poor are killing each other in the name of politics. I plead to our children not to be fooled with little handouts by politicians to engage in political anarchy,” Maigua said.
He urged parents to monitor their children's whereabouts.
National Council of Elders Patron Kung’u Muigai criticised politicians participating in early political campaigns, accusing them of undermining President Uhuru Kenyatta leadership.
“The President has told us all that we should stop early campaigns and instead support him deliver on Jubilee campaign promises..Those who have already started their 2022 campaign are the reason we have lost innocent children,” He said.
Association Chairman Lawi E’Mathew in a statement read by elder Titus Ibue said that the Kenol chaos is part ofa wider scheme by some politicians that will play out bitterly in 2022 if not stemmed.
He urged security agents to move swiftly to end political activities that threaten peace.
Leaders at the event included Kiambu Governor James Nyoro and former Governor William Kabogo.
Kabogo called on politicians to end confrontational politics. “It was not necessary for the two to die. Their blood is in the hands of the politicians who masterminded the chaos,” he said.
Nyoro said that his government will employ Kariuki’s window, Lydia Wangui, and Mbothu’s kin to help them.
Mbothu was buried at his father's home in Ithanga village in Gatanga constituency. Kariuki was buried in Munyu village, Thika East, in a land bought for his family beny elders for sh3 million.
Kariuki is survived by a widow, 18, and a three-month-old son.
(Edited by V. Graham)