Mike Makarena. “He must return Karimi’s money, or else the kithiri curse will destroy him, his children and his clan"

The Njuri Ncheke council of elders have cursed Mike ‘Makarena’ Mutembei, a popular political player in Meru County.

The elders are said to have placed a curse on Makarena after he allegedly refused to appear before them over claims he had conned Esther Karimi of Sh530,000, accusations Makarena has vehemently denied.

Karimi, through a family friend, sought the intervention of the elders to recover the money which she said was to be used to construct a borehole at Nturuba in Igembe Central, her rural home.

“I wanted to sink a borehole in the village for my relatives and local community. I approached Makerana for a partnership so that we could sink it. Makarena said it would cost Sh1.2 million and asked me to contribute Sh530,000, promising he would top it up,” said Karimi.

Karimi claimed she believed in Makarena because she had seen him on various media platforms.

“The picture I got was that he was a philanthropist who was doing good work for the community. I met him in Nairobi on February 11 this year over the matter. I wanted to write him a cheque, but he said it would be an inconvenience because he is in a wheelchair,” said Karimi who claims she withdrew money from the Upper Hill branch of a local bank and gave it to Makarena who promised his aide would deliver the receipt to her.

According to Karimi who flew back to Kenya on February 2 after graduating from University of Manchester with a master’s degree in public policy management, Makarena told her his borehole drilling ‘team’ was in Garissa, but would be in Meru on February 14.

“But he called me on the evening of February 11 to ask for two days for his team to get to Meru.

But when I called him on February 14 to ask why the team had not arrived in my village, he started giving me excuses,” said Karimi who says Makarena became elusive and stopped taking her calls.

“I consulted my friends who advised me to go to the Njuri Ncheke. The truth will prevail. He obtained cash from me by false pretence. I believe that seeking justice in the traditional court will offer natural justice,” said Karimi who had no witnesses to present her case in court.

Karimi was represented by a male family friend because women are not allowed in the Njuri shrines. The Njuri Nchenke who preside over the traditional judicial system converged at a Maua shrine to administer kithiri, a deadly curse.

“He must return Karimi’s money, or else the kithiri curse will destroy him, his children and his clan,” said M’Ithinkia.

But Makarena denies receiving any money from Karimi and claims she is just out to taint his name for political reasons.

“In any case, I do not recognise Njuri Ncheke elders who are led by M’Ithinkia. I recognise the elders who are led by Linus Kathera because they are the rightful holders of the office. Makarena who is widely viewed as the ODM coordinator — and who has previously received Nasa luminaries in the region - claimed that Karimi was bitter after he prevailed upon ODM not to endorse her ambition to run for Igembe Central MP on their ticket, a claim Karimi vehemently denied.

“She does not have money to campaign for the seat. She cannot win, so I blocked her,” Makarena said, and claimed Karimi was being used because “they want to spoil my name because I am campaigning for Raila Odinga.” But Karimi said she is not interested in any political seat and insists that “when I came back from UK, I decided to use the money I had saved from working abroad to sink a borehole for the community.

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