Reject Wajackoyah over bhang pronouncements, religious leaders tell Kenyans
A section of church leaders from various parts of the country now wants Kenyans to reject Roots Party’s presidential candidate George Wajackoyah over his pronouncements on bhang.
Wajackoyah's promise to legalise bhang
The presidential candidate has promised to legalise the substance if elected in the forthcoming August general election.
Under the umbrella of the Federation of Evangelical and Indigenous Christian Churches of Kenya (FEICCK), the clerics upheld that Wajackoyah’s campaign promises are not only contrary to Christian values and ethics but also disregard the rules of a civilized society.
Led by FEICCK secretary-general bishop David Thagana, the priests maintained that Kenya cannot be ruled by individuals on a mission to erode the moral values of the society.
Turning Kenya into a ‘smoking nation’, they said, will double the deprivation and misery of Kenyans as uptake of the currently outlawed substance will result in depression among youths, more crime and deaths.
“Reject the principles of Wajackoyah categorically and anyone else against the principles of peace, ethics and morality. You cannot grow Kenya by radicalizing the citizenry into smoking. What he cannot do to his children then should not be done to Kenyans,” Thagana said.
Speaking at Glory Outreach Assembly (GOA) church along Thika road during celebrations to mark Father's Day, a holiday of honouring fatherhood and paternal bonds, as well as the influence of fathers in society, the clergymen regretted that while consumption of bhang has been on the rise in the country, the political statements by the hopeful president could increase its use thereby causing more disorder in a society that is already struggling.
On his part, Bishop Samuel Ngacha Njiriri of Stewards Revival Pentecostal Church took issue with Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) for clearing Wajackoyah saying that besides academic and other qualifications, the electoral body should have scrutinized the seriousness and sobriety of candidates.
“When you show our people how to smoke bhang, then that is a plan to wipe away the future of fatherhood. If elected, we will have no men who can stand to be counted in the coming years and in fact, that man should be in jail for advocating things that are illegal in the country. Kenyans should reject him and not even listen to his poor ideologies,” Njiriri stated.
If elected president, Wajackoyah says he will legalize the plantation, growth and sale of cannabis to not only increase money circulation in the economy but also help settle Kenya’s international and domestic huge debts.
According to the candidate, the substance, which he claims to have never used, remains the country's gold that needs to be exploited to catalyze the country’s stagnating economic growth.
Meanwhile, the clerics regretted the high abuse of outlawed substances by men who they said have been neglected to the advantage of women.
While calling on the government to advocate for equal gender support, the clerics faulted human rights organizations and governments for over-empowering girls and neglecting the boy child.
Phyllis Githaiga, a reverend with GOA, said most men have abandoned their families and abdicated their parental duties over numerous social-economic challenges that she said require urgent attention by the relevant institutions.
“We have so many men who, out of economic misfortunes, have been unable to support their families. Men should be responsible and good role models but most of them are currently challenged. All is not lost though, there is hope and men should be celebrated as important pillars of the society,” Githaiga said.
Her statements were echoed by Bernard Kariuki Karanja, a pastor and leader at Kahawa Wendani, who regretted that abuse of drugs such as cocaine, bhang and inhalants has been on the rise, a crisis he insists should be arrested with urgency.
“Men are the providers but due to a poor economy, most of them are devastated and as a result, many have turned to the uptake of outlawed substances. It is time that we not only support women but also help restore the glory of men,” Kariuki quipped.
He at the same time advocated for the introduction of a special enterprise fund for men, similar to that currently enjoyed by women and the youth.
Kariuki said that men have been discriminated against by society for long thereby reducing them to helpless bystanders as women and the youth enjoy government goodies.