Last time, we learned how the first Meru leader (Mugwe) was chosen. A young man at his prime who nobody expected to become the leader of the community. This time round, we will look at the qualities the Meru Leader was supposed to possess, and who was to support him. Then, together, we will look at the current Meru Leadership and see if they deserve their positions.
So, the Mugwe who God chose for the Ameru was a young man who had no leadership experience. The elders therefore had the duty to train him and assist him in his duties for the tribe. The elders sat down and selected 9 elders of good reputation and wisdom in public matters to train and help the leader, Mugwe. This became the first NJURI (Oh yes, we had own own JURY!)
Qualities of a Meru Leader
They came up with the first rules regarding the office of the Mugwe:
- Future Mugwes are to be the first descendants of the first Mugwe.
- The Mugwe had to be a son of the first wife or the first son of the subsequent wives.
- The leader must be physically fit with no scars on his body.
- The leader must be an upright man, of good reputation and discipline.
- The leader was banned from any type of labour, involvement in wars, excessive alcohol or indulgence in sex outside marriage or anything that is regarded as unholy in the Meru tradition.
- The leader was banned from practising traditional medicine or taking part in witchcraft.
- The leader was to be maintained by the tribe.
- The 9 elders of the Njuri were to assist and deputise the Mugwe in all matters of administration and religion. To this day, only the descendants of the nine elders are allowed to perform sacrifice.
The official attire of the Mugwe was designed and cut. It consisted of a skin cloak, a hairy band/belt for the head, a black rod, sandals and a fly whisk.
Now, to the question I started with, do current Meru leaders conform to the requirements above, especially for the fourth? Are our leaders upright members of the community, or do they indulge in excessive alcohol, infidelity, corruption and other social ills? Are they people who go to Dr. Babus for kamuti, as they say?
Our ancestors gave us a guidance on our leaders, so, now that we know them, why not use these for next year’s elections?