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OPINION: Murang’a Church chaos unmasks the failing church leadership in Kenya

Supporters of two Jubilee factions in a scuffle inside a Murang'a Catholic church on Sunday. The incident  reveals  how the church in Kenya has failed.


Nearly a year ago, I wrote and shared on Facebook my sentiments about the church entertaining politicians in fundraisers. Barely a month to the first anniversary the unpopular post, I have been vindicated.

In October last year post I wrote to disagree with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s call for the church to help in fight against graft and I opined that the church wouldn’t be committed to the fight because it was also benefiting from the vice by accepting donations suspected to be looted from the public coffers.

The Sunday turn of events during a mass service at Gituhi Catholic Church in Murang’a County unravels how the church has been in the recent past reaping big from the political class – at times – knowingly or unknowingly receiving bundles of unclean money.  

Even as we condemn the politicians for washing their dirty and stinky linen in the house of God, we must in equal measure question why the church leadership has turned the pulpit to a place of making monies. The Church is greedy instead of standing firm against the blatant greed perpetrated by the politicians. Hasn’t the church become greedier than greedy politicians?

Causing chaos inside the Church by Jubilee nominated MP Maina Kamanda and Kiharu youthful lawmaker Ndindi Nyoro leaves us with more questions than answers on what has become of churches in the contemporary Kenyan society.

What happened to the church of the 1990s? What happened to the church that not only took care of the spiritual nourishment of its members but also fought relentlessly against the atrocities meted on innocent Kenyans by the dictatorial KANU regime? Above all; isn’t the church a holy and sacred place? What happened to the morality code and the respect for the sacred alter?


The rate at which politicians are trooping into churches every Sunday not to seek repentance for looting public resources but to donate a fraction of their ill-gotten loot is a clear indication the church has become part of the dangerous cartel consuming this country.

This doesn’t mean politicians are a bad lot or they should not contribute in churches development.  Just like any other member of the church they are at will to support the house of God. But the rate at which the church has become cozy with the political class is alarming. The VIP treatment they receive inside the church is another story. The publicity and attention their contribution receives is spoiling everything.  I have seen some of the politicians bragging on their social media platforms every Sunday of how they helped certain churches raise huge amounts of money. This would even leave one wondering, were these leaders elected to do fundraisers in churches?

I don’t think I will be wrong when I say the church has willingly opened the avenue for politicians to call shots inside the places of Worship. Some, like it happened on Sunday having the audacity and courage to trade barbs – and advance violence in church – just as they have made it a routine in their parliamentary chambers. All these madness has been bred, become deeply rooted and allowed to flourish by the top brass of the clerics – with traditional churches turning to be the leading culprits.      

Strange bedfellows

As if that is not enough some members of the clergy have openly been seen campaigning for certain leaders instead of administering fairness.  Others would even act as brokers on behalf of politicians in deals involving (mis)use public funds. In a more disgusting situation some men of the cloth have been seen holding briefs for politicians – some issuing orders and sacking threats to public servants.

If you think that is all about the men of the cloth in matters going to bed with politicians – you are absolutely wrong.  In some areas of this country some clerics are used to silence their congregants who tend to question misdeeds of their elected leaders on matters public accountability. These species of church leaders sing praises amid their sermons and laud the politicians even when it is in the public domain that they have embezzled funds made to help the vulnerable and even misused public offices they hold for self-gain.

This shows how the church leaders have ganged up with the tormentors of the people they should be defending.

The war on graft in this country cannot and won’t be won if the church continues with the intimacy it has been exhibiting with the politicians. These two factions- the church and politicians – though important to each other and for the wellbeing of a nation should maintain a considerably safe distance to ensure the former oversights the latter without compromise.

As I had put it last year, the church must lead by an example. The men of God should not accept huge chunks of money to churches from politicians while they (politicians) have done very little for their constituents. It is a shame for the church to be turned into a dumpsite of cash by politicians and elected leaders when those leaders have not attempted to care about supporting the needy and deserving students, dilapidated classrooms, impassable roads, ballooning statistics of unemployed graduates, poor healthcare systems, water scarcity, insecurity within and without the Kenyan borders among other countless challenges overburdening the Wanjiku.     

The church in Kenya has failed the integrity test and it needs to redeem itself. It is the high time the church reclaims its position in standing for accountability and respect for democracy and lead in advocating for good governance.



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