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Njuri Ncheke elders reconcile, agree to withdraw court case

Tuesday December 3 2019

Former Njuri Ncheke Secretary General Phares

Former Njuri Ncheke Secretary General Phares Rutere (left) embraces his successor Josphat Murangiri on December 2, 2019 after they reconciled following a four year bruising leadership dispute. Mr Rutere had sued Mr Murangiri for defamation. PHOTO | DAVID MUCHUI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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Feuding Njuri Ncheke leaders have finalised their reconciliation efforts after former secretary general Phares Rutere agreed to withdraw a defamation suit against his successor, Josphat Murangiri.

Mr Rutere had sued Mr Murangiri, who was then in a rival camp, for alleging that he had misappropriated Sh7 million given by the National Museums of Kenya (NMK) to rehabilitate the Nchiru shrine.

But addressing journalists on Monday, Mr Murangiri publicly apologised to Mr Rutere claiming that he was misled by NMK.

The move to end the defamation case comes after the elders, on Saturday, coroneted compromise leaders ending a four-year dispute that had split the council into two.

“When people are at war, all manner of weapons are used against the enemy. We hurled bitter words against each other but some of them were found to be lies. I made allegations against Mr Rutere and Mr Paul M’Ithinkia which hurt their image. I am sorry and I apologise to them,” Mr Murangiri said.



He said they had established that a contractor who did a shoddy job was paid by NMK and that Njuri Ncheke was not involved.

The Njuri Ncheke secretary-general said the decision to issue a public apology was aimed at cementing the unity pact among the elders.

Mr Rutere, who is also the chairman of Kenya Council of Elders, said the claims had impaired his reputation.

“I accept Mr Murangiri’s apology and will withdraw the defamation case in the spirit of building bridges. I am glad that my helm at Njuri Ncheke is clean,” Mr Rutere said.

Njuri Ncheke chairman Linus Kathera said the council will now concentrate on settling disputes, protecting the environment and promoting justice in the community.