MP pleads with Mombasa County govt not to charge for Christian crusades

Nyali MP Hezron Awiti (centre seated) with other leaders during the opening of Wiper offices in Likoni, Mombasa on September 24, 2016. He challenged the Mombasa County Assembly to revoke legislation that requires Christian groups to pay Sh25,000 for every crusade they hold in the county. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT |MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • Mr Awiti said the legislation should either be revoked or applied on all religions, not Christian groups only.
  • The MP said it was particularly wrong to single out Christian groups.
  • Mr Awiti criticised the county government for introducing numerous levies on small businesses.

Nyali MP Hezron Awiti has challenged the Mombasa County Assembly to revoke legislation that requires Christian groups to pay Sh25,000 for every crusade they hold in the county.

The MP called on Governor Hassan Joho to personally take up the matter and ensure the new law is revoked.

Speaking at Mt Sinai grounds in Likoni where he opened a Wiper Democratic Movement-Kenya office Saturday, Mr Awiti said the legislation should either be revoked or applied on all religions, not Christian groups only.

“It is wrong for the county government to charge Sh25,000 for religious gatherings.

“These groups are non-profit organisations that play an important role in bringing about harmony and unity among the residents of Mombasa County,” he said.

The MP said it was particularly wrong to single out Christian groups saying such laws should apply to all religions that hold any gatherings.

“Religious organisations should be allowed to hold their rallies as long as they have notified the relevant authorities for security purposes but not for the county to use this as a source of revenue”, he said.

Mr Awiti criticised the county government for introducing numerous levies on small businesses.

“Introducing many taxes for the small entrepreneur will kill businesses and subsequently, the economy of this county. These businesses should be encouraged,” he said.

The MP, who is seeking to unseat Mr Joho in the 2017 elections, said it was wrong for the county to spend Sh129 million to furnish the governor’s house, saying the money should be used to create jobs for youth and women.

“Such a house belongs to a sultan which we do not have here. It is a luxury we cannot afford because our people and county are poor,” said Mr Awiti.

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