David Oginde: Second clergyman set to lead Kenya's fight against corruption after Wabukala's exit

Bishop David Oginde is set to become the second chairperson of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission. ILLUSTRATION | JOSEPH BARASA | NMG

About one year ago, Bishop David Oginde spent more than one hour explaining to congregants at a church why they should not shy away from politics.

In the sermon titled ‘Influencing government and politics’, Dr Oginde recalled how when he announced plans to step aside as the presiding bishop of Christ is the Answer Ministries (CITAM), many asked him whether he would join politics.

He told the congregants that Christians may engage in politics and government to influence the Kingdom of God.

“Politics is important for the direction of the affairs of a group, community or a nation, no matter how small or large, for bringing harmony and order. Politics as a decision-making factor is essential in human interaction,” he said.

According to the man of the cloth, politics becomes dirty when it is corrupted because of petty jealousies and selfish interests.

In the famous sermon last year, Dr Oginde, who served as the third presiding bishop of CITAM for 10 years, quoted Proverbs 29:2, saying, “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.”

And now, he is set to become the second chairperson of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) after Parliament approved his nomination by President William Ruto last month.

He now awaits a gazette notice and swearing-in to begin his tenure at the helm of the anti-graft body.

Fourteen people had been shortlisted for the position by the Public Service Commission (PSC), among them former Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana and lawyer Charles Kanjama.

Dr Oginde becomes the second minister to head the EACC after retired Anglican Church of Kenya Archbishop Eliud Wabukala.

Archbishop Eliud Wabukala served at the EACC for six years during which the anti-graft body recovered billions of shillings looted from public coffers and public property that had been grabbed by individuals and institutions.

During his parliamentary vetting, Dr Oginde declared his net worth as Sh170 million from training, consultancy services and rental income.

The 63-year-old said there was a need for a cohesive spirit between the commission and its secretariat and if given the job, he would ensure a separation of roles.

He is banking on a culture change to achieve his vision in his new role, warning against ‘weaponising’ the war against corruption.

He also emphasized the need for political goodwill in the fight against corruption, that he would work with other State officers to voluntarily lead by example, and be a champion for integrity.

Dr Oginde holds a PhD in Organisational Leadership from Regent University School of Business and Leadership in the US and a Master’s degree in Leadership from Pan Africa Christian University.

For his undergraduate degree, he studied architecture at the University of Nairobi. He did his biblical studies at the Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (Trinity International University) in Illinois, US.

He has previously served as the Chancellor of Pan Africa Christian (PAC) University.

Head of Public Service Felix Koskei, while announcing Dr Oginde’s nomination, described Dr Oginde as highly respected at home and abroad for his strong reputation in forthrightness and integrity.

Mr Koskei mentioned Dr Oginde’s “tireless efforts towards the promotion of ethics and virtue in society. His appointment will give Kenya a demonstrable champion of deepening a value-based culture in our nation and one who has a long and successful career of promoting ethics, integrity and civic duty in many different spheres of life.”

In the sermon, Dr Oginde referred to Loren Cunningham’s seven spheres, influences or mountains of society, among them government.

He said those who influenced the seven areas, among them the government, determine the direction the society takes.

“It is important how believers (Christians) can engage in this mountain for us to transform the world,” he said.

He reminded the congregation of the words of Jesus Christ of how they are the salt and the light of the world.

He asked the congregation how they expect God to give them leaders among the drunkards or thieves if the godly people do not offer themselves for political leadership.

During his tenure as the presiding bishop of CITAM, Dr Oginde never shied away from criticising the country’s leadership.

Dr Oginde will soon be in a very powerful position, where the distinction between his professional and priestly life will come under sharp scrutiny.

His time at the EACC comes when the institution is still seen as toothless in the war against corruption

Many will be waiting to see whether he will be a courageous advocate for justice and righteousness.

He himself warned that every leader at every point has great ideas and dreams but the ideas and dreams require God’s intervention.

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