Gachagua to police: Don't interfere with cultural events

The Deputy President said security agencies should not disrupt such gatherings.

In Summary
  • The deputy president said that it would be wrong to criminalise cultural events.
  • Some 22 Kikuyu elders are facing charges of engaging in Mungiki-linked practices.
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua takes a jig during music and cultural heritage dance at the 5th Edition of the Ngogoyo Ya Rware fete in Kieni, Nyeri County on February 24,2024.
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua takes a jig during music and cultural heritage dance at the 5th Edition of the Ngogoyo Ya Rware fete in Kieni, Nyeri County on February 24,2024.
Image: Rigathi Gachagua/X


Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has directed security agencies not to interfere with cultural events even as he called on artists to mainstream such practices in the creative industry.

The DP spoke days after a section of Kikuyu elders were arrested and arraigned over allegations of administering practices linked to the illegal Mungiki sect.

The 22 elders were arrested on December 31, at Mukurwe wa Nyagathanga—a gazetted shrine—while allegedly conducting prayers.

On Saturday night, Gachagua said that the Kenya Kwanza administration will not accept harassment of innocent people conducting known cultural practices.

The DP said the government is committed to spurring the growth of the creative economy through deliberate interventions asking artists to step up their efforts to preserve culture.

“Cultural events will no longer be disrupted by security agencies. But the elders should make sure their events are not hijacked by people harbouring bad intentions and those who would propagate the wrong things, support practices overtaken by time, or misguide people into cultic practices,” said Gachagua.

He spoke on Saturday night at Honi Resort, Kieni, Nyeri County during the fifth edition of Ngogoyo Ya Rware music extravaganza.

The event, attended by thousands of people and entrepreneurs, brought together fans and top legends of the Kikuyu music industry led by Musaimo wa Njeri, Kariuki Kiarutara, Lady Wanja, Timona Mburu, Kigia wa Esther, Wahome Maingi, CDM Kiratu among others.

The event was organized by fans of the Kikuyu old music, which is known for promoting the Agikuyu culture, beliefs, tradition and values. The songs are also rich in history.

In his remarks, the Deputy President challenged the event organizers to put up similar activities in the other counties around the Mt region to promote the culture of the community.

“It is important to own and nurture our culture and traditions and protect our history. They are our heritage. It is important to protect and safeguard our values and customs. We should love each other as a community no matter where we are,” said the Deputy President.

On February 11, Gachagua said though the state was committed to fighting criminal outfits, it was not its intention to hinder un-harmful cultural practices, ordering the Director of Public Prosecutions to review the case against the Kikuyu elders.

The case was scheduled for hearing on February 28 but the DPP, through a letter, requested a special hearing to withdraw the case last week.

However, lawyers of the suspects led by Narc Kenya boss Marth Karua called for the complete dismissal of the case so that the State does not again bring up the charges at will in future.

The case had taken a political direction with opposition leaders accusing the government of criminalising Kikuyu cultural practices.

Karua argued that the state through the DPP had filed a mere application to have the cases withdrawn instead of completely withdrawing them.

“This case is a test for the Mount Kenya Region because it seems their culture and religion are being criminalized,” Karua said.

“The charges against the accused are defective and should be dismissed not withdrawn.”



WATCH: The latest videos from the Star