Prayer meetings here to stay, Rachel Ruto says amid criticism
First Lady Rachael Ruto has declared that the government would not stop its nationwide prayer meetings despite criticism from the opposition that they were political rallies.
Ms Ruto said the faith diplomacy was part of thanksgiving prayers for winning last year’s August 9 polls.
She proposed that prayers be extended to schools so as to help inculcate morals in students to help safeguard the family institution which she said was under attack.
Addressing the faithful at St Thomas the Apostle, Athi Parish, in Meru during a fundraiser in aid of construction of the parish house, Ms Ruto said they had no intention to stop the prayers.
“We have that programme known as faith diplomacy seeking to take prayers throughout the country in thanksgiving. We got this government through prayers and we can't shy away from praying,” said Ms Ruto.
The bid to continue with nationwide prayers received support from Agriculture CS Mithika Linturi, Meru Governor Kawira Mwangaza, MPs John Paul Mwirigi (Igembe South), Dr John Mutunga (Tigania West) and Julius Taitumu (Igembe North).
Ms Mwangaza told off the critics, and urged Ms Ruto to continue with the prayers’ drive.
“There were people who thought that after President Ruto won the elections, he would stop touring churches. But after winning, you have increased the visits to places of worship. The foundation of this government is prayers and those criticizing should stop,” she said.
Mr Taitumu and Dr Mutunga who is also the chairperson of the Meru parliamentary group encouraged Ms Ruto to visit their constituencies to help intervene on the ongoing famine situation.
“You came to my constituency and prayed for miraa and the international market was opened. You visited Mwerongundu day secondary school which has a population of over 1,200 and you promised to adopt it. The students are eager to receive you,” Mr Taitumu appealed.
Mr Mwirigi said prayers had helped UDA win the elections and said he was happy that the government had continued with the same after the triumph.
“We recognize that where we are today, it is because of God’s intervention through prayers. Sometimes, when people are after something, that is when they are very prayerful and drop the habit after getting it,” he noted.
Ms Ruto, Mr Mwirigi and other leaders at the same time criticized the Supreme Court’s ruling recognizing the gay community, saying it was against African culture and Christian faith.
She appealed to Kenyans to resist the urge to embrace gay marriages, saying it would erode the family fabric.
“Kenya is a country that prays to God and we would not want to entertain it. We want a family set up where we have a father and a mother. We want to strengthen the family institution where we have a father and a mother,” said Ms Ruto.
The First Lady reiterated her commitment to safeguarding the environment in line with the government’s ambition to plant 15 billion trees by 2032.
She decried the famine situation, saying things would improve if the country had sufficient forest cover.