Leaders back in church a week after pulpit ban
Clement Kamau and Dorcas Mbatia
Top leaders trooped to churches yesterday and addressed congregants despite the ban by some religious groups against use of the pulpit to further their political interests.
Deputy President William Ruto attended a church service in Kiambu, Amani National Congress boss Musalia Mudavadi joined faithful of a Methodist Church in Meru with Kanu chairman Gideon Moi heading to the Salvation Church in Matungulu, Machakos county.
ODM presidential aspirant Jimi Wanjigi who was at the Kibuye Catholic Church, Kisumu was not allowed to speak but his presence was recognised by the Clergy.
Ruto reiterated that he supports the church for banning politics in pulpits saying it will ensure politicians will respect the altar.
He said that there should be no political contests at the altar noting that leaders have very many other avenues of politicking.
He made the remarks at Gathaithi AIPCA church in Githunguri, Kiambu where he and a host of parliamentarians attended a Sunday service.
“To begin with, we are Christians first and then politicians. When we come to church, we come as Christians and not as politicians,” he said.
Ruto who later addressed impromptu public rallies at Gathaithi, Githiga, Githunguri town, Ndumberi and Kiambu town drummed up support for the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party and it’s bottom up economic model and urged locals to support and join it en mass. He said that the party’s manifesto holds the key to the country’s future economic revival.
“Ours is not to change the Constitution and create positions for politicians. We want to change the economic status of the downtrodden members of the society,” said Ruto.
He said that he is the only presidential candidate who can follow the economic steps of President Uhuru Kenyatta once he exits office next year.
“Let me ask you Kiambu people, between me and Raila Odinga, who stands a better position and opportunity to succeed Uhuru, is it not me?” he asked the huge crowds he addressed.
He was flanked by Turkana governor Josephat Nanok, MPs Silvanus Osoro, Kimani Wanjiku, Victor Munyaka, James Gakuya, George Kariuki, Alice Wahome, Rigathi Gachagua, Kimani Ichung’wa, former Senator Isaac Mwaura, Kiambu woman rep Gathoni Was Muchomba and former Kiambu governor Ferdinand Waititu as well as TSP acting Secretary General Karungo Thangwa.
Waititu said he will run for the Kiambu governorship claiming he was impeached unfairly.
In Meru, Mudavadi yesterday declared he was the best suited to fix the economy if elected president.
Speaking during his two-day tour to woo the region in support of his presidential campaign, Mudavadi downplayed Meru governor Kiraitu Murungi’s recent endorsement of ODM leader Raila Odinga.
Mudavadi said many Kenyans were reeling under the heavy burden of over-taxation with little intervention by the political elite.
“The pride of a man is being able to feed his family. There is no dignity in poverty. Many foreign investors have migrated to the neighbouring countries due to the high taxation in Kenya.
In a thriving economy citizens must have money in their pockets. We must revisit the tax regime and reduce it.
We don’t work for KRA but for our families and business. Let us dialogue with all stakeholders and come up with a lasting solution,” said Mudavadi.
“ I know Meru people love me and our friendship is very strong that is why I have decided to come on the ground and seek your support and not to be endorsed in a hotel in Nairobi,” told Mudavadi faithful at Nchabuene Kithoka Methodist Church.
Kiraitu said the region is open for a Mudavadi administration if their interests are taken care of.
“The people of Meru love your way of doing politics. You are not a person of hatred and abuse and our main interest is to know the kind of people we are supporting and what they will offer our region,” he said.
“Musalia has a history in our Meru land. He steered the economy from the murky waters when he was the Minister for Finance in 1993,” he added.
Mudavadi said the country needs a focused and leader of integrity to take over from president Uhuru Kenyatta.
“Kenyans should analyse all of us and chose the best leader whom they are sure will take nation to a better place economically, improve agriculture, infrastructure, health and fight poverty which is affecting majority of Kenyans,” said Mudavadi.
He asked lawmakers to relook the BBI and identify areas that can be implemented without going through a referendum.
Mudavadi said his party will sponsor a motion in Parliament to give a new lease of life to some clauses contained in the rejected BBI Bill.
He was accompanied by Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala, Lugari MP Ayub Savula, Sabatia MP Alfred Agoi and former National Assembly Speaker Kenneth Marende.