I do not believe circumcision is any test of leadership - Moses Kuria

The Gatundu South politician on Friday warned Uhuru over going against his father's wishes

Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria during a Kenya Kwanza presidential campaign rally in Gatundu on March 18, 2022

Outspoken Gatundu South Member of Parliament (MP) Moses Kuria has set the internet ablaze following his sentiments urging the GEMA communities against voting for Azimio La Umoja leader Raila Odinga.

The Chama cha Kazi (CCK) leader referenced a 1969 agreement said to have been witnessed by over 300,000 people from the Kikuyu tribe where GEMA tribe leaders vowed never to support an uncircumcised leader for president.

"Without calling for another oath to undo the first one, you unilaterally make an about-turn and expect the whole community to follow you.

"I do not believe that circumcision is any test of leadership and there was everything wrong with the 1969 oath, and the community elders should hold a ceremony to unbind the community from that oath and for closure," Kuria stated in a measured post online.

He would reiterate his sentiments during a public campaign rally with Deputy President William Ruto and the Kenya Kwanza election coalition by referring to Mr Odinga as kĩhĩĩ, a term used by the Gikuyu to refer to a boy who is yet to be initiated into adulthood.

During his address to crowds in Gatundu on Friday, Kuria stated that President Uhuru Kenyatta was betraying the oath, in which his father Jomo Kenyatta had participated, by siding with Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party leader Odinga in the upcoming presidential election.

Translated from Gikuyu vernacular which Kuria used on Friday, the politician stated: "Uhuru is going against his father's wish by supporting Raila Odinga and he knows what Kenyatta said. We even took an oath never to support Raila for the presidency and that is why we are backing Ruto."

Kuria’s comment has elicited different reactions and ignited a debate.

From a number of reactions to the post, Kenyans seemed to admonish Mr Kuria over the statement which has repeatedly been used to spark tribalism around election time in Kenya.

Some of the reactions include:-

In March, the Kikuyu National Council of Elders patron, Captain (Rtd) Kungu Muigai was first to make the reference claiming that the head of state's move to support the ODM leader was against the oath taken by the GEMA nation in 1969.

The retired captain who is also President Kenyatta’s cousin later apologised for the statements saying they had brought embarrassment to the president.

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