An Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) bishop presiding over a funeral service in Murang’a stole the show on Tuesday, August 3 after he reprimanded politicians to shun politics in their speeches while denying most of them a platform.
Bishop Julius Karanu of Murang’a South Diocese read a riot act to politicians present in the service, insisting that the church has resolved not to allow politicians to make political utterances in church functions.
Politicians who were present during the burial ceremony of Nancy Muthoni Kibe- mother to businessman Joe Kibe at Kandara included ODM leader Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper), Musalia Mudavadi (ANC), Moses Wetangula (Ford Kenya), and several local leaders.
In funeral ceremonies all over the country, especially during a time when general elections are beckoning, a politician presides over the session where politicians speak. But in this particular funeral, that was not the case.
Bishop Karanu took over the session. All MPs present including area MP Alice Wahome were only recognised. “I’m sorry to announce to both the elected and politicians around that we made a resolution in June 2020 never to allow leaders to make political utterances in church.”
The resolution was reportedly made last year after two Jubilee Party factions (Kieleweke and Tanga Tanga) heckled against each other in a church function in the same constituency.
Kiambu Women Representative Gathoni Wamchomba who was then a staunch supporter of President Uhuru Kenyatta was booed by supporters of Wahome over Tanga Tanga and Kieleweke wars.
The bishop said since the priests could not know what politicians would say, the best decision was to deny them a platform.
“The Anglican church is guided by statutes and we feel that by disregarding the church norms, allowing politicians may discourage Christians from attending the church service,” the bishop added.
Bishop Karanu only allowed what he said were national leaders to speak. They included Odinga, Kalonzo, Wetangula, and Mudavadi. They too were urged to avoid politics.
After the session, he allowed National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi to read President Uhuru Kenyatta’s condolence message.
Bishop lectures politicians
After the politicians were through, the bishop took to the podium to lecture the political class to abandon their selfish interests for the sake of the country.
“The interest of the public should come first and not your interests, you should think about playing the role of a team in your political endeavors. We have so many factions and political parties but we should strive to have a new vehicle and the best driver that will deliver new Kenya,” the bishop said.
Other MPs who had attended the funeral included Peter Kimari (Mathioya) Cleopa Malala (Kakamega) Johnstone Sakaja (Nairobi) Acting Nairobi Governor Anne Kananu, Sabina Chege (Muranga) and Moses Kuria (Gatundu South)
Wahome cried foul claiming the move to deny her an opportunity to address the mourners in her constituency was intentional.
“I was denied an opportunity in the last minute panic since they knew I would have used the opportunity to call out the President for continued constraints on democratic space,” she said in a side interview.