Apprehension is seeping in Kerugoya, Kirinyaga county as a calamity is predicted to befall the calm town. A 200-year old Mugumo tree collapsed mysteriously, sending widespread fear.
The sacred tree fell between two houses, causing panic among the residents. No one was injured during the incident, which drew the attention of Kikuyu elders from the region.
The residents fear that a calamity might befall them because the sacred trees, under which sacrifices are offered, rarely fall. “We understand that when a Mugumo tree falls, something unpleasant might happen,” said Ms Mercy Muthoni, a resident.
“What is so surprising is that none of the two houses was destroyed. The owners also escaped unhurt,” said Mr Thomas Theuri.
“This is the first time for a sacred tree to fall in this area since independence. Something urgent must be done to appease our god,” another resident said.
Elders who visited the area said a cleansing ceremony must be conducted urgently before bad things happen.
“The place where the tree stood might have been profaned and the spirits might be angry. To appease out god’s spirits, we must perform a cleansing ritual very soon,” said Mzee Mwangi wa Ndung’u.
He instructed the residents not to interfere with the tree before the ceremony is conducted.
“They should not use the tree for firewood or any other work. Once the sacred tree falls, it is supposed to remain as it is until some rituals are done by elders without blemish” said Mzee Ndung’u.
When there is an outbreak of strange diseases or rain fails, elders seek divine intervention under this shrine. Elders are required to remain secluded for few days, observing holiness before they move in to the area to perform the cleansing exercise.