Religious reforms to proceed unhindered, Kindiki tells clerics

Kithure Kindiki

Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki. 

Photo credit: File I Nation Media Group

Interior Cabinet Secretary (CS) Kithure Kindiki has insisted that the government will continue with the proposed religious reforms despite opposition by a section of clergy.

Speaking during a Sunday service at Victory Revival Church in Tharaka Nithi County, Prof Kindiki said the government cannot allow criminals to continue using religion to rob and kill Kenyans in the guise of preaching the word of God.

“The same way we are fighting terrorists, we must come up with laws to tame criminals even without the support of the clergy. We are not going to back down” Said Prof Kindiki.

He said some religious leaders have impoverished their followers by asking them to give offerings that they use to buy expensive vehicles and build mansions while at the same time misleading them with fake teachings and radicalisation.

Prof Kindiki added that the clergy should not fault the government for the move to curb criminals using religion to commit crimes while Paul Mackenzie went on with his criminal activity without exposing him.

After the formation of a task force to review legal and regulatory framework governing religious organisations in the country by President William Ruto, a section of Pentecostal church leaders petitioned the Head of State to revoke the gazette task force and ‘come up with an all-inclusive membership team’.

The preachers stated that the church should not be treated differently from other institutions because of a few rogue preachers.

While apologising to Kenyans for the deaths, the CS said any security or administration officer who aided or failed to prevent the crime will be sacked and taken to court for charges.

He said that it is unfortunate that the Shakahola crime went on without the knowledge of security and administration officers, not even the Nyumba Kumi elders.

The CS said the rescue operations for the survivors in Shakahola forest will be extended to Tsavo National Park where people being rescued are escaping.

He noted that so far 235 bodies have been recovered and exhumation has been suspended to allow the postmodern of the new 123 bodies in order to create more space at the morgue since there is a likelihood of recovery of more bodies.

He said it is painful and traumatizing to see 60 bodies in one mass grave including for little innocent children.

“There are more mass graves and we expect to exhume more bodies even as we try to rescue those who are still in the forest,” he said.

Kindiki assured Kenyans that Pastor Mackenzie will face charges related to the mass killings of his followers, assuring that necessary laws will be put in place.

Tharaka Nithi Senator Mwenda Gataya, Maara Member of Parliament Kareke Mbiuki and Tharaka Nithi County Assembly Speaker John Mbabu lauded the government’s move to take rogue preachers and urged religious leaders to stop misleading their followers.

Mbiuki noted that there are also many religions that are misleading teachings and urged Kenyans to avoid them.

“We urge the government to crackdown on religions which have misleading teachings because there are many,” said Mr Mbiuki.

Kindiki stated that soon he will launch a serious crackdown on illicit brew and drugs in Mt Kenya region and warned administration officers that they are likely to lose jobs for failing to fight such crimes.