Anglican Church of Kenya Archbishop Jackson Ole Sapit now says that members of the clergy should distance themselves from the politics of the day and stick to evangelism.
According to Sapit, the clerics should not visit politicians’ homes to seek ‘political directions’ because that is not what they are called to do.
He said this during an interview with KBC on Monday.
“Our bishops and clergy should not be part of the so-called grassroots and religious leaders who troop to homes of politicians to be given political direction because that is not our work,” said Sapit.
Sapit made the remarks a day after he was lauded for blocking politicians from speaking during a church service in Butere.
The politicians, who included the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party leader Raila Odinga and his Amani National Congress (ANC) counterpart Musalia Mudavadi had attended the historic consecration of the first female ACK Bishop in Kenya, Rev Rose Nereya Ayiemba Okeno.
“We have said this before and leaders have failed to honour this. Today I want to decree here that we are not going to allow political elites to speak within the church precincts. We are not going to allow the pulpit to be used as grounds to propagate political rhetoric, propaganda, hate and spite. No,” Sapit said on Sunday.
Other high-profile leaders present included Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula and trade unionist Francis Atwoli.
In the Monday interview, Sapit maintained that politicians had turned the church into a political ground following the ban of rallies due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
He accused the leaders of using the opportunity they are given to speak in churches to attack their opponents, hence demeaning the places of worship.
“I went purposely to Butere knowing that I was not going to allow politicians to speak in that occasion and also all other occasions where I personally will be present. I have also urged my Bishops to follow suit in their Dioceses, and we are going to do that for all our clergy,” Ole Sapit said.
Sapit, however, defended Mudavadi over media reports that the ANC boss walked out of the Sunday service in protest after he was barred from politicking.
“When Musalia Mudavadi was about to leave he sent word to me that ‘I’ll be leaving because I have a function in Murang’a so when you see me walk, I’m not walking out in protest it is because I’m attending another function in Murang’a that’s why I’ll be leaving a little early,” he added.
“Spare Musalia from whatever blame game that is being said that it was in protest.”