Mugumo tree falls in Kiambu, locals read end of rule
A huge mugumo tree which has been used as a shrine for hundreds of years by Agikuyu elders at Kwa Njau, Muthure in Kabete fell down on Monday causing anxiety among local residents and elders.
Interestingly, the strangler tree which was seemingly immortal split into pieces on impact with its leaves turning brown immediately according to locals.
Villagers marveled at the fall of the mugumo tree which is also venerated by the Gikuyu community who uses it as a shrine.
According to elder Waweru wa Njau, the fall of a mugumo tree has serious significance among the community because it's a religious site where the community conducted, and still conducts religious ceremonies.
"The fall of the sacred fig tree which is where elders communicate with God (Ngai) has both political and societal connotations. In 1963, one such tree fell in Nyeri and it signified the end of colonial rule in Kenya," he said.
He said the fall might also imply that a bad omen is likely to befall the community and called upon the top leadership Kiama (council of elders) to conduct a cleansing ceremony to ward off probable bad omen.
"Mugumo tree has never fallen without a profound reason. It's the only tree which talks and a fall might signal a change of guard or a mighty occurrence," said elder Mbira Wa Muroki who witnessed the tree falling.
"We heard a thunderous sound and upon walking out of the house to establish where it had come from, we witnessed the massive tree making a mighty fall," he added.
Whereas some schools of thought take the fall of a fig tree to signify generational change, others dismiss the same as a farce, saying that the trees fall after attaining old age.
Being a high octane political season in the country, politicians from across the political divide in the Mt.Kenya region interpreted the fall of the tree differently.
Speaking on grounds of anonymity, an MP from Kiambu County said that the incident signified the end of "dynasties."
"Those who have ears and eyes can now see that even God has ruled the end of dynasties and in comes the era of hustlers," he said.
Another MP said that the fall of the tree meant a change of guard in the country's top seat with other communities getting an opportunity to lead.
"When an anointed leader speaks, his words have godly input. So when President Uhuru Kenyatta spoke at Mululu recently insinuating that the Kikuyu and Kalenjin communities ought to step aside and allow other communities to occupy the top seat, the statement was heaven sent and has been confirmed by the fall of the fig tree," said the MP allied to Kieleweke.
According to the Agikuyu tradition, a Mugumo tree should not be cut down nor should its wood be used for timber or firewood and it should be let to rot naturally if it falls.
In some instances and with the guidance of the elders, only elderly women are allowed to use dry branches of the tree as firewood.