Archbishop Muheria calls for audit of religious leaders

Anthony Muheria

Nyeri Diocese Archbishop Anthony Muheria.

Photo credit: File I Nation Media Group

Nyeri Diocese Archbishop Anthony Muheria has called for an audit of all religious leaders in a bid to weed out rogue ones that have been deceiving Kenyans.

Speaking at Our Lady of Consolata Church in Nyeri, Archbishop Muheria said some preachers have been misleading people by taking advantage of their misery and promising a change of fortunes overnight.

"I will lead in declaring my worth to the public. This is the only way we protect Kenyans from rogue religious leaders. God is not a magician that can promise wealth without hard work," he said.

He said that a majority of religious leaders are joining the ministry for their personal gain and not to preach the word of God to the masses.

"There should be laws that govern and regulate the churches so that not everyone is able to set up a church," he added.

He was speaking in the wake of the discovery of dozens of bodies of the followers of cult leader Paul Mackenzie buried in shallow graves on his land at Shakahola village, Kilifi County. They died after allegedly starving themselves after they were told they would meet Jesus once they died.

Further, Archbishop Muheria cautioned Kenyans against being gullible, saying it is the root cause of the manipulative ways of some preachers who prey on their desperation.

He went on to say that the murders in Shakahola are a clear indication of how deep corruption is rooted in the church and society.

"Our systems are corrupt and it also shows the corruption in our churches, where people are using religion for personal gain. What has happened in Kilifi is a result of manipulation and is tremendous evil," he said.

"...they are using deception on gullible Kenyans with the gospel of prosperity without hard work. How foolish can we be?" he asked.

He said the government, the community around the Shakahola village, and members of the National Governmental Administration Officers (Ngao) dropped the ball and failed to do something about the cultic murders in Kilifi.

"This has revealed the underbelly of our society. Over 80 people died without the government's knowledge,  chiefs, and the people who should have known without raising alarm... that for five years this has been going on and everyone remained silent. This is tremendous horror," he said.

"The system is corrupted. And in that case, the leadership in that area has a case to answer,  Ngao, members of Nyumba Kumi, the people living in the village, the Judiciary too, because they let a criminal off the hook," he added.

While sending his condolences to the families affected, he called on all agencies who can help in offering counselling to do so and help the families handle the loss and revelation with love.

"Even as we condemn what has happened, let us not forget there are people who are hurting," he added.