In an unusual move, the Anglican Church of Kenya in Kabete, Kiambu county sought help from Kikuyu elders to do some rituals that would allow them to fell down a Mugumo tree on their land.
The church leadership wants to expand the development of structures in their compound and that of the Mary Leakey Girls High school but the old sacred tree has been a stumbling block.
In the Kikuyu community, Mugumo tree is revered and for it to be cut down a rite has to be conducted by elders failure to which misfortunes would follow.
Nine elders representing the nine Kikuyu clans performed the special ceremony.
They circled the giant tree chanting prayers, chopping it and sprinkling it with the blood of a sheep.
“Church sought our help because the tree is drying up and it is likely to fall on houses nearby. They also want to use the space to expand the development of their infrastructure” one of the elders revealed.
They said they came to the church’s rescue as it is their responsibility to ensure the correct rite is done before they allow them to cut down the tree.
“If they disregarded this ritual and went ahead to cut it down, calamity would have followed. We are happy they sought our help. We are traditionalists and Christians at the same time” the elder stated.
They wound up the ceremony with a feast on the slaughtered sheep and traditional beer.
Once down, the tree should be allowed to decompose or used as firewood by women in menopause.
This collaboration between church and traditionalists comes months after a big clash between the church and a section of kikuyu elders.
The traditionalists were accused of resuscitating uncouth traditional practices.