KENYA: Bishop Wainaina Demands Apology from Politicians Over Fracas in Church

MURANG’A, SEPTEMBER 10, 2019 (CISA)-Bishop James Maria Wainaina of the Catholic Diocese of Murang’a has demanded a public apology from politicians who caused fracas at Gitui Catholic Church on Sunday, September 8.

A scuffle characterized by exchange of words ensued between two groups of political leaders disrupting a funds drive, and causing confusion and apprehension amongst the congregation.

In a statement released September 9, Bishop Wainaina condemned the incident saying that it is a justification to limit time and space offered to politicians in church.

“The Church is indeed a house of prayer for all and must be respected as such,” said the bishop adding that the incident was, “…regrettable, unfortunate, uncalled for and above all shameful, seeing that it involved some political leaders, but more so because it happened in church. The actions by the leaders involved were disrespectful to the Church.”

The bishop denounced how politicians take advantage of church gatherings for self-interests and self-proposition in elective posts. He believes these actions set a bad example to children and youth who look upon adults as role models and mentors.

“It is now quite clear to us, Church leaders, and to most people concerned about respect and honour of the ministry given by the Church, that many politicians think differently about the value of gatherings of Christians,” the statement reads.

“It also puts us on guard, once again we as church leaders, that an incident which may look innocent at the beginning can become uncontrollably ugly and embarrassing if the wrong people take control of our Christian gatherings,” he said.

Bishop Wainaina further urged politicians to practice tolerance in political divergence, and decorum in expression of political views.  In May 2019, the Kenya Conference of catholic Bishops (KCCB) warned politicians against taking advantage of Church gatherings to advance divisive political agenda.