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Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Party Leader Raila Ondinga and his wife Ida were Friday installed as elder and Kikuyu traditional woman respectively in a ceremony at historic Kabiruini show grounds in Nyeri county.

In what was dubbed as a mountain meeting the lake event, Raila was made an official Kikuyu elder by Kikuyu Council of Elders Chairperson Wachira Kiago.

Raila was presented with the official regalia that include clothes and a flywhisk signaling his acceptance as an elder.

“From today you are allowed to be part of us. You can come to our functions and we will recognise you as one of our own,” said Kiago .

Kiago directed senior politicians including Maina Kamanda (Nominated MP, Nairobi) to negotiate with Ondinga and ensure community interests are taken care off.

Similarly, the council’s women leader under the leadership of Agnes Kagure performed acceptance rites for Ida.

Ida was also renamed and will be henceforth be known as “Nyawira” and given Kikuyu regalia as women cheered on.

She will also be allowed in the league of women who can represent the community. 

After the two ceremonies, both Kikuyu and Luo (Raila’s community) elders conducted another ceremony to single unity among the two ethnic groups.

Food from both sides was shared signalling unity among the two communities.

Leaders present expressed hope that the unity of the two tribes who often been antagonistic in the national political arena will bring peace.

The ceremonies marked the commencement of Raila’s two-day visit in Nyeri where he was expected to meet professionals from the county and hold a series of rallies in the area.

During the ceremony Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga raised a storm after he told Raila on the face “to stop lecturing residents” and instead tell them their stake in his government.

“We as county residents are not interested in history, tell us what is our stake so that we can consider your candidacy,” said Kahiga.

Kahiga’s remarks made in reference to Raila’s efforts to popularise his presidential bid ahead of the 2022 presidential elections were dismissed by a section of leaders who attended the meeting. Those who rubbished Kahiga’s remarks said history is equally important. By Josphat Mwangi, Capital News

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