• Council said churchgoers are capable of supporting churches without politicians campaigning and giving money.
• They said not inviting politicians to church is the only way to prevent violence.
Murang'a's Council of Eminent Persons on Tuesday urged church leaders to stop inviting politicians to fundraisers to stop violence.
Two people were killed on Sunday, October 4 in Kenol, Murang'a, when Deputy President William Ruto arrived for an AIPCA harambee. Rival groups clashed. Police intelligence said the violence was planned in advanced, then a counter-attack followed.
The council said the violence would not have occurred had the church not invited political leaders.
Speaking in Kenol town on Tuesday, council members expressed concern Murang'a has been depicted as violent due to chaos that has frequently occurred at political functions in the last six months.
“Stop inviting politicians into churches. Let us adhere to President Uhuru Kenyatta's call to stop politics and wait for campaign time so leaders have enough time to work for the people,” retired Thika Bishop Gideon Githiga said.
Council chairman Joseph Kibe said allegations that youths had been ferried to Kenol to disrupt Ruto's event is testament to the problem of joblessness and alcoholism.
Violence begets violence, keeps investors and away and reduces job opportunities, he said.
“We are genuinely concerned. What future do we have for our people if we allow such incidents to continue? We want peace that will foster investment,” Kibe said.
He implored leaders not to turn their political differences into wars that pit Kenyans against each other.
Retired Bishop Gideon Githiga said the council's aim is to preach peace.
“We have been talking to MCAs and MPs but the scenario in Kenol was so devastating especially seeing the violence extending inside the church,” he said.
He said leaders should work together regardless of their political orientation and give Kenyans the freedom to choose their leaders.
“I have been asking myself, would the chaos have occurred if politicians had not been invited into the church? The answer is no,” Bishop Githiga said.
He said said many churches have been built with contributions of churchgoers and not politicians.
Sometimes churchgoers contribute more than politicians but politicians take the credit despite smaller donations, he said.
“We can work together as Christians to build our churches. We can feed the flock, provide the faithful with enough spiritual nourishment and out of that, they will have enough to contribute,” Githiga said.
As the country heads toward the 2022 General Election, the church should avoid turning the pulpit into a political arena the council said.
Council secretary Nyamu Njoka said the county cannot continue to endure such violence and urged politicians to accommodate each other.
(Edited by V. Graham)