Njuri Ncheke Secretary General Phares Ruteere addresses elders and new initiates during a traditional initiation ceremony at Gitoro Forest, Imenti North. [PHOTO: PHARES MUTEMBEI/STANDARD]


Njuri Ncheke Council of Elders has installed 19 professionals as elders.

This is a first for the community given that in the past only elders were initiated into the revered council. Those installed included teachers, doctors and economists.

During a traditional ceremony at Gitoro Forest in the outskirts of Meru town, the council’s Tharaka Nithi patron Erastus Njoka said admitting professionals was a way of accepting modernity.

Prof Njoka, who spoke on behalf of Njuri Ncheke patron Francis Muthaura, said admitting young professionals into the council was a departure from the past, but was a positive step for the Meru.

The elders also announced that they would build an orphanage at Nchiru, to house destitute children.

“In the past only elderly men were initiated into Njuri Ncheke. Now we are initiating youthful professionals who, just like the elderly, possess knowledge that can benefit our communities,” he said.

Besides being the patron of the Meru Professionals Association, Njoka is also the Chuka University vice chancellor.

He said reconciling of two factions within Njuri Ncheke which have been wrangling over positions is being spearheaded by Mr Muthaura.

“I am representing Muthaura who had a commitment elsewhere. He is leading a process that will accommodate everybody, so that the unity of Njuri is restored. We do not want to see divisions,” said Njoka, adding that interference in the council’s affairs by politicians, was the source of conflict.


“We do not want to engage in politics. Our job is to ensure there is unity among the people of Tharaka Nithi and Meru. We are two counties but one people,” he observed.

Council Secretary General Phares Ruteere said Njuri Ncheke, which is registered as a society, will create new positions to accommodate those who feel they have been left out.

“We registered Njuri so that we can bring our activities to the open. We want to embrace modernity, because we want positive change in addressing community issues. Now we are installing teachers, doctors and economists who bring in new ideas,” Mr Ruteere said.

Njuri Ncheke;Council of Elders;meru