Kirinyaga county council of elders have offered a burnt penance in a bid to cleanse a fig tree intended to be cut down to clear way for construction.
The fig tree, referred to as Mugumo in local dialect acted as a place of worship where the Kikuyu people would offer sacrifices and pray while facing Mt Kenya.
The sacrifice is offered to stay away from a curse or any type of misfortune since where the tree stands, is viewed as holy.
The tree under which the sacrifice was offered,stands in a land planned for Kenol-Marua Dual Carriage through Sagana, Ndia Constituency.
As per the council acting executive, the tree must be cut after the sacrifice has been offered accepted by God referred to the Kikuyus as Ngai.
“We have gathered here to offer this sacrifice to appease Ngai so that the tree can be cut and pave way for construction without any tragedy befalling this road once completed,” Harrison noted.
The older folks who partake in offering the penance should be pure and barefeet.
“These elders have fasted for seven days and none of us has been close to any woman for the past week because this is a holy place and one must be pure,” the council’s treasurer Joseph Muriithi noted.
During the sacrifice, three goats are butchered and the main one is offered to God as a burnt sacrifice.
“We slaughter three goats. The first one is to please our God. It is burnt not a single piece can be eaten by anyone. If the smoke rises up straight to the sky, that means God has accepted our offering, and in this case, He has,” Muriithi explained.
The other two goats are shared among the elders and remains are burnt to ashes prior to leaving.
“The meat is eaten here. Nobody is allowed to take anything home. The meat that remains as well as the bones are burnt to ashes,” he said.