The Agikuyu council of elders, known as Kiama Kia Ma, finds itself embroiled in a protracted leadership dispute, with two factions vying for legitimacy and control.

According to Captain Kung’u Muigai, the National chairman of the council, a splinter group has emerged, disrupting the council’s activities and asserting its own leadership. This disruption includes hindering traditional ceremonies and the installation of council officials.

Speaking at the handover event of the ‘Muthigi’ to the newly elected Gatundu North chairman Ndere Githuka in Kamwangi, Kung’u highlighted that the splinter group is led by a faction of elders suspected of forging documents to maintain their positions since 2008. As a consequence, these elders have been suspended and stripped of their membership in Kiama Kia Ma.

Furthermore, Kung’u accused the splinter group of exploiting unsuspecting elders nationwide, particularly through financial schemes such as the issuance of member badges costing Sh1,000 each. He emphasized the need for both groups to refrain from interfering with each other’s activities.

In response, the splinter group has served Kiama Kia Ma elders with a notice, challenging the legitimacy of Kung’u and his associates. The notice, delivered by Gikenye, Mugo, and Rienye advocates, demands that Kung’u’s faction cease claiming membership and conducting ceremonies on behalf of the council. Failure to comply within 14 days may result in legal action.

Shamte Munyua, the Kiambu County Kiama Kia Ma chairman, echoed concerns about the splinter group’s demands, particularly their call for elders to abandon traditional attire. Munyua asserted that traditional attire plays a vital role in preserving Kikuyu culture and is essential for cultural identity and cohesion.

Despite the turmoil, Munyua affirmed the elders’ commitment to fostering unity among the Agikuyu community and addressing social, economic, and political challenges. He emphasized their unwavering dedication to guiding the youth away from negative influences like alcoholism and drug abuse, prioritizing the community’s overall well-being.