Battle to control Njuri Ncheke threatens peace in Meru

Battle to control Njuri Ncheke threatens peace in Meru

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The feuds bedeviling Njuri Ncheke Council of Elders caucus will never end soon if the current squabbles are anything to go by.
Already, politics has taken centre stage within the council ahead of next year’s polls. A camp allied to Governor Peter Munya has sworn to back him against Senator Kiraitu Murungi who is shifting from the senate to county politics.
Chairman Paul M’ethinkia and secretary general Pharis Ruteere have been caught in Munya, Kiraitu political battles. The pro-Munya camp has led a section of the elders in dismissing a meeting called by their patron, Francis Muthaura.
According to Muthaura, the meeting will be an election to pick members of the Supreme Council in a bid to end a three-year leadership row. The dispute has seen two factions claim leadership of the top cultural decision-making organ of the Ameru.
Muthaura has been in the forefront in appointing a team that unveiled its first written constitution which proposes a term limit for top officials and an elaborate leadership structure.
According to the new constitution, it provides for rotation of the top posts among the six local subtribes. It was drawn by a team led by former then Kenya Anti-Corruption Authority boss Justice Aaron Ringera, now of the East African Court of Justice. The committee comprised former MPs Joseph Muturia and Mathew Adams Karauri who will also be part of the nominations team that will supervise the council elections.
The constitution provides a five-year term for chairman and secretary general who will also sit in the Supreme Council. Once they retire, they will take up ex-officio positions in the general committee as emeritus chairman and emeritus secretary general. The rotation sequence between the Ameru subtribes will be determined by the Supreme Council by secret ballot.
The Njuri Ncheke has been experiencing a serious power struggle leading to formation of two factions. One faction is allied to senate majority leader Kithure Kindiki, Lands cabinet secretary Jacob Kaimenyi and Murungi who have joined the camp after parting with Munya. The other is associated with Munya.
Sources say that he elders linked to Kindiki are perceived to enjoy the national government blessings.
Rutere’s team was “ousted” by the elders backing Munya and is led by Linus Kathera (chairman) and Josphat Murangiri (secretary general), in March but the former filed a case in court challenging the move. The case is in court.
Image credit: Meru Newsline
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