Azimio flagbearer Raila Odinga's presidential bid received a major boost after Agikuyu elders broke the infamous 1969 Oath that prohibited the community from voting in a president from outside the Mount Kenya region.
In a meeting held in Kiambaa on Sunday, July 17, the Kiama Kia Ma and the Council of Elders declared that the community was free to elect leaders from whatever part of the country.
Kiama Kia Ma Chairperson Ngungu Gaithuma explained that the election of the late Mwai Kibaki, had already defied the oath and the dreaded consequences did not happen.
"Among the declarations was that the presidency would not go beyond River Chania. We have seen it go beyond and saw the consequences (positive and negative) but we are withdrawing that oath today," Gaithuma stated.
In addition, the elders lifted an embargo that curtailed the level of interaction not only between the Agikuyu and other tribes but also between 'major' and smaller tribes in the region.
The leaders asked the community to shun leaders who were using the oath to propagate negative perception on presidential candidates stating that they were secluding the community from the rest of county.
"The elders ask the Agikuyu to disregard all ill-intention persons, practices, policies and politics designed to divide and deviate them from the common good," stated the elders.
Coming just days after President Uhuru Kenyatta revived his campaigns for Odinga in the Mount Kenya region, the move could be a shot in the arm for the Azimio presidential candidate.
For nearly four decades, leaders from the region have honoured the oath, with the ODM leader bearing the brunt as his opponents fiercely campaigned against him.
A section of leaders from Mount Kenya have on several occasions admitted to deliberately painting Raila in bad light, stating that they were made to believe that he was not fit to run the country.
However, following the March 2018 handshake and Uhuru's subsequent endorsement, politicians from the region have set out on a campaign to undo the damage and endorse his presidential bid.