The Njuri Ncheke council of elders in Igembe North District has denied claims that they are being used to control the Meru County politics.
Speaking to press at Antuamburi Shrines in Mutuati Division of Meru County last Friday, the District Chairman Lino Kathera M’Rimba said Njuri Ncheke is a social organ meant to promote development and strengthen the diverse Ameru cultural practices.
“Njuri Ncheke is just an association to foresee moral, social and support the government in handling issues of security. We always support the government that be and every member has their civil right of choice,” said M’Rimba.
M’Rimba said the politics of the Meru Community depended on the individuals’ freedom of choice cautioning politicians allegedly using their name to gain their political mileage. He said over 101 youths among them professionals have joined the council in a move to integrate current issues immorality and marital violence that were cropping up in modern society.
“We are moving away from the notion that Njuri Ncheke is for the elderly members of the society. We wish to inherit some of the good values to the future generations as we also learn from the youth for development is a multifaceted concept,” said the chairman. He went on to add that they were working hand in hand with the government and other stakeholders in promoting educational standards and preservation of the environment in the region.
“We have supported the construction of 24 schools and last year we contributed KES. 400, 000/= towards the construction of Igembe Catholic Mission Hospital that is now operational. We also insist that elders dedicate 10% of their farms to indigenous forest cover,” he said. He asserted that since time immemorial the Njuri Ncheke had no leadership structure and the elders spoke for themselves.
“The current Njuri Ncheke leadership structure is a modern idea. The issue of drafting letters and notices stating that Meru elders will support a particular political candidate was uncalled for,” he complained. He condemned posting of leaflets and notices by their national chairman saying it would compromise the people’s freedom of expression.
At the same time Mr. M’Rimba said they were concerned about security threats allegedly being posed by cattle rustlers appealing to the government to beef up security especially as the country closed in to the forthcoming general elections. He raised concern that a week ago a middle aged man went missing at Antuamburi area under mysterious circumstances. He said 33 illegal weapons have been seized following successful community policing initiative urging area residents to work closely with the provincial administration to fight cattle rustling claiming it was a major security challenge.
“Our district borders the Samburu and Borana communities who practice cattle rustling. Recently 39 animals were stolen at Kuramawe and Kina areas but fortunately 15 were recovered in Garbatulla,” he alleged.
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