After governor Njuki laying the foundation stone for Mukothima dispensary which was constructed at night causing online uproar, now residents have vowed to stop any activity to erect the facility at the disputed field which they say is a traditional shrine as evidenced by a huge Mugumo tree standing near the foundation block.
According to Charles Kamwara the regional Njuri Ncheke chair, the community will not allow the under way plans to cut down the sacred Mugumo tree be executed by anybody since traditionally such trees are considered sacred and therefore anyone planning to cut it down is an enemy of the community.
“As a community and elders who understand culture we will not allow any person regardless of their stature to cut down the Mugumo tree that has been standing for years, in the name of building a dispensary. Such trees are sacred and anyone thinking of bringing it down wants trouble to befall the community,’’ Kamwara said.
Another resident identified as S.K Njagi told press that the field being planned to be erected a dispensary is currently hosting administrative offices and therefore it remains a mystery how such a congested field will hold such a sensitive facility merged with a security camp, an issue they had raised through public participation but was deliberately ignored.
“During public participation for the project, we raised our concern on how such a small field with security camp can further host a sensitive facility like a dispensary but our concerns were never addressed,’’ he lamented.
S.k revealed that as a way of solving the challenge of insufficient field, 3 acres of land were donated near Thanantu primary school for the same dispensary and thus the community wonders what may be the special interest with the land where the sacred tree sits.
The locals further says that Mukothima being a place that is growing at an high rate, the governor ought to have thought of putting up the facility on a parcel of land that can allow future expansion of the dispensary to that of a level 4 hospital, rather than being short sighted.
“Considering the rate at which Mukothima is currently growing, it was so myopic for the governor Njuki to think of a mere dispensary that cannot guarantee expansion to a bigger facility rather than investing on a piece of land enough to develop a level 4 hospital for the fast growing town,’’ said Kinoti.
Currently the disputed parcel of land hosts Mukothima police post, Chiefs camp and residents still want the office of the assistant county commissioner put up at the same place as they feel it does not need future expansion.
Traditionally Mugumo tree was highly valued as being sacred which even upon falling no one dared to extract anything from it but instead prayers were held and rituals performed to avert any possible calamity from descending on the community.
News Flash 254 learnt that the Mugumo tree at Mukothima has a rich history about the immediate Tharaka community which means cutting it down will have a serious impact to the host community, a thing that elders won’t allow to happen.
Now the Njuri Ncheke elders want plans to put up the facility reverted as they vow to block any attempt not only to cut down the tree, but even a single branch of it.
Further they are demanding for the plan map to ascertain the safety of the Mugumo tree in case any activity is carried out on the remaining parcel of land.