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Economy

Sapit: Church wrong on harambees

Anglican Church of Kenya
Kenyan churches should end the "hype" with which they accept donations from politicians, the head of the Anglican Church of Kenya said Tuesday. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Kenyan churches should end the "hype" with which they accept donations from politicians, the head of the Anglican Church of Kenya said Tuesday.

Archbishop Jackson ole Sapit, who is also a member of the national anti-corruption task force, said the church should "learn to worship God with its resources, quietly".

There have been concerns about churches receiving money said to be proceeds of corruption and money laundering during fundraisers.

Archbishop Sapit said: "Let us not hype this thing of harambees and guests of honour because that is where, as the church, we go wrong.”

“Let us, as the church, also learn to mobilise resources for our development agenda and do it quietly, not with the hype that takes us off the pulpit. Let us not allow harambee money to become a subtle way of sanitising corrupt leaders,” he added yesterday after a meeting of the Multisectoral Initiative Against Corruption (MSIAC).

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Mr Sapit said the Anglican Church will also rethink the matter of letting politicians hold fundraisers in sanctuaries.

These functions should be held outside church buildings, he said.

The archbishop’s remarks came a day after an ACK bishop slammed leaders who have been castigating churches for accepting donations from politicians.

Bishop Timothy Gichere of the ACK Mt Kenya Central Diocese said they would continue receiving the money until the courts declared the politicians corrupt. “When leaders come to church and contribute money with clean hearts, we can’t decline because we are not in a position to know if the money is from corruption," he said at the Murang’a GK Prison on Sunday.

"We are not there to rebuke and label people as corrupt because that is the obligation of the courts. Let the judicial process go on without the politicisation of the war on graft so that the culprits are arrested and charged."

But during the Tuesday media address, Archbishop Sapit emphasised on the war against corruption and checks on Kenya's public debt, which he said have continued to impoverish citizens.

He said the theft of public funds that has permeated all levels of government should be dealt with once and for all.

The archbishop added that State institutions fighting corruption should neither be undermined nor neglected.

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