Anglican faithful accuse some clerics of corruption
Some Anglican bishops in the country have come under fire from their flock over corruption in the church, the Star learnt yesterday. Workers within the church headed by Archbishop Eliud Wabukala claimed that some of the 46 bishops had used church funds to enrich themselves and ignored the welfare of their juniors. There have been accusations that some of the clergy, who control massive sums of cash, have purchased personal vehicles using church resources.
Sources within the church identified bishops in Nyanza, Western and Rift Valley alleged to have made such purchases in the last one year. One source told the Star: most of the dioceses do not comply with the ACK constitution, government legislation and income tax requirements, adding that there is need to probe and ensure that all bishops pay taxes because they earn salaries and responsibility allowances.
According to ACK documents seen by the Star, a newly elected bishop earns a basic salary of SH51,980, house allowance of Sh25,900, responsibility allowance Sh17,000 and Sh7,000 hospital plus an annual leave allowance of Sh30,000, all totalling Sh1,282,560 annually. A vicar general and provost earn Sh612,000 while archdeacons are paid Sh341,000 with rural deans making Sh267,000 and priests Sh218,000 annually. Deacons take home a paltry Sh143,000.
The ACK which also runs guest houses, hospitals besides community services is thought to have a Sh2.5 billion budget annually. "Each of the 46 dioceses runs a budget of between Sh60 million and Sh75 million each financial year that is under the control of bishops, who do not employ qualified accountants to keep their books of accounts," said a source.
A priest who was arbitrarily dismissed said: "It is devastating that we serve without due appointment letters and our terms and conditions of service are not spelt out accordingly as should be. It will surprise many that even heads of the departments are never paid their due allowances and imagine more than 300 priests who have retired have no pension while those in service do not get their actual salaries..they are suffering." The workers haave called for openness, transparency and accountability in management of financial affairs in the church, new human resource and administrative structures alongside stipulated appointment contracts for lay staff.