KENYA: Archbishop Muheria to Chair Inter-Faith Council on Resumption of Worship

Archbishop Anthony Muheria

NAIROBI, JUNE 16, 2020 (CISA)-Archbishop Anthony Muheria of Nyeri has been appointed to lead the Inter-Faith Council to guide the government on development of stringent protocols for phased reopening of places of worship under the COVID-19 pandemic.

A special issue of the Kenya Gazette notice dated June 12 signed by Cabinet Secretaries Fred Matiang’i for Interior and Co-ordination of National Government and Mutahi Kagwe for Health also appointed 15 other religious members to constitute the Inter-Faith Council on the National Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic.

“The Terms of Reference of the Inter-Faith Council are to develop guidelines towards the gradual and progressive resumption of in-person congregational worship that adheres to physical and social distancing guidelines,” the notice reads.

The council is also tasked to develop protocols for the celebration of weddings, religious funerals graveside and crematoria last rites and send off and other religious ceremonies in the places of worship that adhere to physical and social distancing guideline.

According to the notice the clerics will also “develop a program for public sensitization and capacity building of all religious leaders and clergy on the protocols and develop a prioritized implementation matrix, clearly stating the dates for re-opening and the numbers capping applicable.”

The council who’s Secretariat shall be located at the Ministry of Interior and Co-ordination of National Government shall be answerable to President Uhuru Kenyatta through the National and County Governments coordinating Summit.

Members of the Council include Bishop John Oballa (KCCB), Bishop Joseph Obanyi (KCCB), Rev. Moderator Julius Mwamba (PCEA), Canon Chris Kamau Kinyanjui (NCCK), Canon Rosemary Mbogo (ACK), Pst. Dr Samuel Makori ,Al Hajj Hassan Ole Naado (SUPKEM),Sheikh Sukyan Hassan Omar (SUPKEM), Sheikh Abdulatif Abdulkarim (KCIU), Rev.Fr  Joseph Mutie (OAIC), Bishop David Onginde (CITAM), Rev. Connie Kivuti, Sujata Kotamraju (Hindu Council of Kenya), Retired Rev. Samuel Thiong’o Mwangi (General Conference of Akorino Churches Assembly) and Sheikh Ali Said Samojah.

Dr Kepha Ombacho (Director of Special Programmes MoH), Francis Kuria (Inter-Religious Council of Kenya) and Paul Famba (Director of Administration Interior Ministry) will serve as joint secretaries.

The mandate of the council shall lapse on December 31, 2020.