Inside Politics

Ruto commends Uhuru for ending church split

Monday, February 26th, 2024 05:20 | By
Ruto commends Uhuru for ending church split
President William Ruto with the leadership of AIPCA Church during their centenary celebrations at Kasarani Stadium Nairobi, yesterday. PHOTO/PCS

President William Ruto for the second time yesterday publicly commended his predecessor, Uhuru Kenyatta, for his role in uniting the African Independent Pentecostal Church of Africa (AIPCA) to end years of division.

Speaking during celebration of the church’s 100-year anniversary, President Ruto revealed how a section of church leaders from the warring faction sought his intervention after mediation efforts collapsed.

The Head of State revealed that he referred the matter to the retired President and his Deputy Rigathi Gachagua to resolve the stalemate.

“The church delegation came to me. I told them uniting the church is above my aptitude and told them I would look for the leaders of this country. I looked for President Uhuru Kenyatta and would like to thank him because he played a big role in uniting this church,” Ruto said.

Cracks within the church leadership started after outgoing leader Amos Kabuthu, installed Archbishop Fredrick Wang’ombe as head of the church disregarding bishop’s choice of Archbishop Julius Gitau who was elected in 2017.

Power struggles caused a section to break away, forming AIPCK under the leadership of Archbishop Njoroge who controlled about 200 churches and Archbishop Wang’ombe’s faction with 1,500 churches.

The President acknowledged it has been a challenge to support development projects by the pre-independence church due to the disputes.

The Head of State further acknowledged that politicians had contributed to the wrangles that had hit the church.

 This, he said, was because elected leaders were affiliated with different factions within the church.

 Ruto said various leaders had been affiliated with either Samson Muthuri, Julius Njoroge or Fredrick Wang’ombe since the three were all their friends.

“We even contributed to the confusion that was in the church at that time because whenever we would be called by Njoroge we would go because he was our friend, if we were called by Wang’ombe we arrived very early because he was our friend,” the President told the congregation.He said although President Uhuru initiated the mediation effort during his tenure, it was Gachagua who in November last year successfully ended the stalemate and brokered a deal between the warring factions.

This was the second time Ruto was publicly commending Uhuru for some of his policies and achievements.

 During a visit to Kisumu last year, Ruto hailed Uhuru for his efforts to revamp the MV Uhuru II vessel at Kenya Shipyards Limited.

New vessel

Ruto said Uhuru exhibited immense foresight by introducing a refurbishment of the shipyard as well as the construction of a new vessel.

“I must congratulate my predecessor, President Uhuru Kenyatta for his foresight in coming up with this shipyard refurbishment,” Ruto said.

Weighing in on the AIPCA stalemate, DP Gachagua noted: “I am happy because if the church talks in one voice, we know the government is safe.”

The DP decried what he termed marginalisation of AIPCA, one of the oldest churches in the country, by successive regimes.

“This church will be helped to restore its dignity and respect during the tenure of President William Ruto. For that to happen, we must speak in one voice,” Gachagua remarked.

President Ruto at the same time urged Kenyans to support government projects through public participation and mobilisation. He said he believes Kenya would be a great country if its people were united.

Drumming up support for the Social Health Insurance Fund (SHIF), Ruto asked Kenyans to participate in public participation forums for laws behind State projects to be implemented.

“Contribute through public participation so that we can know how we will move Kenya forward together,” he said.

Ruto also pledged to employ more teachers to ensure education iis prioritised.

“Last year we hired 56,000 teachers, this year we will employ 20,000 teachers,” he said.

The Head of State also urged Kenyans to collaborate with the government to increase food production and reduce food importation.

He asked youth leaders to support government projects like the Affordable Housing Programme, the export of labour, and creation of digital jobs.

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