Deputy President William Ruto asked the Church to take a stand on the August 9 presidential elections between him and Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition Party aspirant Raila Odinga.
The Deputy President told the clerics that politics is about interests, adding that the Church, an institution, also had its interests and could not afford to remain on neutral grounds.
While addressing the clergy on Thursday, May 5, during a prayer breakfast meeting at his Karen home in Nairobi, The Kenya Kwanza Alliance leader said that the Church needs to take a firm political stand to protect its interests.
“I know there are a lot of threats and blackmails, but I believe you will not be neutral but take a stand. Politics is about interests, and the Church has its interests just like everyone else. You vote for your interests,” said Dr. Ruto
Seeking to sway the clergy member, Ruto asked them to work with his camp, saying he has been vocal and public about fighting for the Church to occupy its rightful place in the country.
He guaranteed them that, unlike his opponents, he would not advocate for the closure of smaller churches but instead introduce a special tax regime for religious institutions.
“When the Church steps forward and says we want to entrust our interests to the next government, it is right. I don’t have to scrutinize the interest of the Church because they are my interest. For the first time, we will have the interest of the Church on the table,” said the DP.
The Deputy President asked the Church and his supporters not to worry over talks of the “deep state” and “the system” stealing their victory, saying the Kiambaa by-election showed that the shadowy institutions could not overturn “what God has ordained.”
Ruto pointed out that John Njunguna Wanjiku won the seat even though Jubilee Party had a challenging candidate in Kariri Njama and their side. “Our candidate was a late entrant and had only 10 percent of the votes, but God used the elections to answer the fears of the deep state and system. So have no fear; the system and the deep state will not steal our victory,” said Dr. Ruto. “We already have evidence that they can’t do it. They would have done it in Kiambaa. We may have formidable opponents, but we believe that we will win this election by God,” he added.
In support of the deputy president’s message to the Church, Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua stated that the Church cannot afford spectate anymore but be part and parcel of deciding the country’s destiny as they are also stakeholders.
“You cannot stare at danger and do nothing. As much as we pray, we must also do something. On top of praying, guide your flock appropriately. Everyone knows in whose hands the Church is safe between the two presidential competitors,” said Mr. Rigathi.
Furthermore, the lawmaker condemned Mama Ida Odinga’s remarks on the regulation of mushroom churches which she said was a risk to the society. “The wife of our competitor said that small churches will be shut down if her husband takes over. We cannot just sit seeing somebody sharpening a sword and wait,” he stated while asking the Church to make its decision with her statement in mind.
Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi and Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetang’ula asked the Church to vote for Dr. Ruto on August 9 so that Kenya could move forward as a peaceful and united nation. Wetangula argued that Willia Ruto is the only one who can give the country a new direction and set it on the path to renewal and regeneration.