KENYA: Faith Group Supports Archbishop Muheria’s Call for Audit of Religious Leaders

By Arnold Neliba

NYERI, APRIL 28, 2023 (CISA) Archbishop Anthony Muheria of the Catholic Archdiocese of Nyeri has called for an audit of religious leaders as a way of protecting their followers and also weeding out rogue religious leaders deceiving Kenyans.

“All of us including myself should be able to declare what I have in my accounts. And it should be something public for all the Christians who follow my church. They should know how much I have and how much I own,” said the archbishop during a presser in Nyeri.

While supporting Archbishop Muheria’s call, the Christian Health Association of Kenya (CHAK) appealed for transparency in religious institutions and urged the government to tighten its grip.

On April 27, Samuel Mwenda, CHAK’s Secretary-General, said it is high time religious institutions self-regulate, adding that those operating under the Interreligious Council of Kenya (IRCK) have a code of conduct, work with EACC and have a memorandum of understanding, and also observe proper ethics and integrity.

“We have talked about proper service delivery before so it seems we have to agree to do things in a way that is transparent, scientific and in a way that involves all people,” he said, adding “If you have no offence or wrong you won’t fear.”

With the count at 104, of bodies exhumed from the Shakahola Village in Kilifi, and rescue operations of followers of Pastor Mackenzie continue, Archbishop Muheria underscored the need for stricter measures to defend Kenyans from the greed of rogue religious leaders.

“Laws must be put in place so that these rogues and persons who are planning evil may not be given space to threaten neither the well-being nor the lives of Kenyans. We need to protect Kenyans that is what we are saying. We insist that there must be laws about those things, w which are pseudo religions, pseudo denomination, and pseudo gatherings,” said Archbishop Muheria.

Muheria describes some of the pseudo religions as “creations of people who just want to make wealth, they are human creations of persons who want to deceive. I even don’t think it is called brainwashing, this is the deception of the highest order,” he said lamenting how these cynical individuals take advantage of poor and miserable people to “cheat them and enslave them in ways where they give all their goods for the good of that religious leader.”

“We have seen this is deep and it is evil and should not be repeated in our country,” he said.

A distraught Archbishop Muheria also called for an investigation into the security apparatus in Malindi, the village elders and the judiciary, all of whom he blames for the massacre in Shakahola.

“The system is corrupted. And in that case, the leadership in that area has a case to answer, NGAO, members of Nyumba Kumi, the people living in the village, the Judiciary too, because they let a criminal off the hook,” he said.

He said, the reality of the deaths in Shakahola “has revealed the underbelly of our society. Over 80 people died without the government’s knowledge, chiefs, and the people who should have known without raising alarm… that for five years this has been going on and everyone remained silent. This is tremendous horror.”