Njuri Ncheke council of elders now wants the Meru community to take over the country’s leadership after President Uhuru Kenyatta retires.
Citizen Digital reported that the elders were of the view that Kikuyus have been at the helm for a long time, and it is time they passed the baton, to other communities in Mt Kenya and preferably the Meru.
The Council’s Secretary-General Josphat Murangiri said GEMA leadership must alternate between the different region communities for it be binding and long-lasting.
“Ameru, we are stakeholders too, so we ask you our Kikuyu brothers because we have been together all the way, consider us when President Uhuru leaves office,’” Murangiri said.
Njuri Ncheke is the supreme governing council of elders for the Meru people.
Also filling a judicial role, it is the apex of the Meru traditional judicial system and their edicts apply across the entire community.
The functions of the Njuri-Ncheke are to make and execute community laws, to listen to and settle disputes, and to pass on community knowledge and norms across the generations in their role as the custodians of traditional culture. Local disputes will invariably first be dealt with by lower ranks of the elders (Kiama), then the middle rank (Njuri) and finally the Njuri-Ncheke.
However, Njuri Ncheke does not handle matters involving non-Meru people, or those that are expressly under Kenya’s common law. The determination of cases by the Njuri Ncheke, just like is for common law, relies a lot on case law and precedence
A lesser known, yet important function of the Njuri-Ncheke, is the overseeing and enforcing the rules and regulations controlling the use and conservation of open grasslands, salt-licks and forests. Their work as conservators extends to the preservation of the sacred sites.
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The Njuri Ncheke is also influential in the socio-economic and political decision making amongst the Meru. The Council of Elders spearheaded the establishment of the Meru College of Science and Technology and donated 641 acres of community land in 1983 for its siting and development.
The college was in 2008 upgraded to a University College of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) and in early 2013 awarded a charter by H.E Mwai Kibaki – the then President of Kenya and renamed Meru University of Science and Technology(MUST). Njuri Ncheke is represented in the University Council.