Clerics: Why we are upset with Ruto

Friday, March 1st, 2024 04:39 | By
The Church and Clergy Association of Kenya chairman bishop Hudson Ndeda during a past Press briefing in Nairobi. PHOTO/Print
The Church and Clergy Association of Kenya chairman bishop Hudson Ndeda during a past Press briefing in Nairobi. PHOTO/Print

Q: Did President William Ruto have a pre-election pact with the church?
A: Yes. I was not part of those who signed the agreement but it was there. There were some expectations from the Church from the government and he also had some expectations from us if he took power.

The agreement was that we will have a ministry that deals with religious matters. It was to be a fully-fledged ministry with a minister. We have not seen that up to now.

There was also agreement on the lifting of the moratorium on registration of churches, we have however not seen progress on that and instead the office of the attorney general has even come up with tougher restrictions that were never there even during the reign of former president Uhuru Kenyatta.

Q: Has the Kenya Kwanza administration betrayed the church now that it has failed to fulfill the pledges it made to them?

A: I really don’t want to say they have betrayed the church but so far they have not implemented the Memorandum of Understanding they had with the Church, and so to that extent I would say they have not played their part.

Q: Have you sought an audience with the current president so that you iron issues affecting the church in terms of agreement you had with him and other matters affecting the society?

A: He is very much aware. He stays in Kenya and he’s the president of Kenya and even when we raised these issues there was even the media. He has the MoU and why should we remind them of what they committed themselves to.

Q: The government lifted a moratorium on registration of churches and faith-based organisations during the last general election. Has the sector been streamlined and reformed to your satisfaction?

A: Towards the last General Elections, a moratorium was lifted to allow registration of churches to go on. However, we feel it was just a game to get votes from the church.

The last time I checked it was only eleven churches that had been registered and yet they have applications that are above 1,000 at the Attorney General’s Office.

We want to urge the Attorney General to be a gentleman enough and allow registration of churches to continue. If the government can recognise the existence of LGBTQ groups and organisation of atheists, why does it have a problem registering churches?

I believe we have some wrong people in government who are against the church or Christianity faith because it is not normal for the church to go through such things.

Q: In your last address you asked the government to listen to divergent opinions on Kenyans regarding some of its programmes such as the Affordable Housing Programme that have faced legal hurdles. What is your position now?

A: Most decisions by the government need a lot of public participation. The reason I say this is because to some people there are projects that are not a priority. For instance, the Affordable Housing Project. What if one took a mortgage or loan for a house and does not need another?

Public participation will help the government to implement its programmes well. I believe the ideas are good but they are missing it on how they want to implement it. Some feel the houses are not their priorities right now, and even if they were, there is how they would want it to be done for them and not necessarily the way the government wants it done.

Q: You also raised the matter of increased taxation in the wake of over borrowing of foreign loans by the government. Has there been reprieve?

A: It is true life is becoming difficult for Kenyans. There are some families who are putting food on the table becoming impossible. Taxation is very high. Most workers have half of their salaries going to the government in form of taxes, meaning they work for half pay.

Even if you improve the economy but taxation is still high, that money that Kenyans will be making will not benefit them because it will go back to the government.

Q: What is your take on the directive to have most government services paid through the e-citizen platform, especially the school fees that have also raised storms?

A: The directive to have most government services paid through e-citizen may be good but again not thoroughly thought about. I have myself seen a parent pay school fees by bringing a cow to school so that it stands as part of school payment and I have also seen parents bring firewood to school so that it acts as school fees. I am wondering how such payments will be accommodated by e-citizen because that could be the only source of income such parents have.

yI feel there are some people who are coming up with new ideas in government but they are in a rush in terms of implementing without looking at such issues. If we don’t look at such issues, then there are parents who will be unable to pay school fees for their children.

There is also the issue of NTSA, it has taken a whole month for their services to be transferred to the e-citizen. I for instance bought a car in December but was unable to transfer it to myself. I think e-citizen will collapse over heavy traffic soon. They needed to work on the network first.

The government should be slow when implementing certain things. Maybe they do one thing and if it is successful they move to the next.

Q: There has been increased incidents of killing of women in the country. Where is the problem and can a solution be found in order to end this?

A: Killing of women is a sad thing. I think people need to move closer to God. We feel there is a problem. When you see ungodliness begins to get into a country then this is what we are going to expect. When you see people pushing for things like LGBTQ and atheists who say there is no God, then it is unfortunate that that is the generation we are headed into.

People need to value the fear of God and know that every life is important and matters. Unfortunately, I have a feeling that there is a reason behind all these other than just the killings, why would one kill a woman who he has confessed to love?

The government should investigate these matters just like the way they investigated the issue of Shakahola where we saw a lot of energy unlike now.

We want to see serious investigations to establish what is behind all this because it is not normal.

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