By PSCU/Kazungu Chai
President Uhuru Kenyatta has assured the religious community that the government is ready and willing to safeguard the freedom of worship.
The President however said the government was also determined to get rid of fake preachers who are setting a bad example in society.
While expressing support for self regulation and ensuring that only genuine religious leaders are allowed to preach, the President emphasized that, unscrupulous preachers will not be given room to continue swindling Kenyans of their hard–earned money in the name of spreading the Gospel.
“Our Constitution accords every Kenyan the right to worship and I fully support that position. But we will not allow thieves to use religion to steal from Kenyans,” President Kenyatta said.
The President said that was why he directed Attorney General Githu Muigai to ensure that the draft Religious Societies Rules 2015 are subjected to further vigorous public consultations so that they in no way undermine the fundamental values and principles enshrined in the Constitution.
President Kenyatta spoke today when he joined Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) faithful in Malindi for a Sunday service.
He called on the Church to work together with the Government in rooting out people using religion to enrich themselves.
“We must work together to root out people who use the Church to enrich themselves. These thieves and must be treated with the contempt they deserve,” President Kenyatta said.
The President commended the Anglican Church in Kenya for complementing the Government’s effort in development in addition to their core work of spreading the gospel.
“They are playing an active role in boosting education and providing health services. They are not just preaching the gospel, they are also seeing how they can improve the lives of Kenyans. They have become good partners of Government in uplifting the lives of our people,” the President said.
On security, the Head of State called on all Kenyans to play their role in ensure that the country is safe.
“Lets work with the security agents to expose those with evil intentions so that they can be dealt with before they harm us and threaten tourists,” he said.
He also urged citizens to stand together and pray for Kenyan soldiers who work day and night to keep the country safe.
“Let us pray for those who lost their lives in Somalia and their families, and wish quick recovery to those who were injured,” the President said.
Responding to Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi, who sought the national government’s help in paying bills for electricity consumed via the street lighting project, President Kenya said the county government has a duty to pay the electricity bill for the service.
He pointed out that the cost of lighting has already been subsidised from Kshs 11.25 to Kshs 4.35 per kilowatt–hour.
Governor Kingi, who also attended the service, had thanked the President for the street lighting project in the county but requested to be helped to pay the electricity bill.
Kingi also thanked President Kenyatta for boosting the tourism industry by reducing charges for chartered planes and entry to the park.
The service, which also raised funds to finish the construction of the Malindi ACK Cathedral that is ongoing, was presided by Archbishop Eliud Wabukhala, head of the Anglican Church in Kenya.