The Star (Nairobi)

9 July 2012

Kenya: Outspoken Cleric Likely to Whip Up Tensions Among Christians and the Muslims

opinion

Even as the government resorts to fire-fighting in order to curb persistent attacks in North Eastern region by suspected terrorists from war-torn Somalia, Kenyans should be alive to the fact that it is not the sole responsibility of the government to fight crime. It is rather the responsibility of all Kenyans to supplement government efforts in the fight against the rag-tag militia.

It is still fresh in our minds about the role the church played during the Rwandan genocide in 1994 in which over 800,000 were butchered in the 100 days of blood-letting that pitted the minority Tutsis against the majority Hutus. The church also admitted their failures following the 2007/8 post election violence in Kenya in which over 1,200 people were killed and over 650,000 displaced.

It therefore beats logic as to why the security organs of this country are burying their heads in the sand even as a religious leader shamelessly and with impunity makes certain utterances that are intended to pit religions against each other.

I want to thank the Christian and Muslim leaders for calling for peace following the attack on the Catholic and AIC Churches in Garissa on Sunday, 1st July 2012 in which 17 innocent faithful were killed, and the security measures taken by the government to prevent future attacks from across the border. However, when a respected church leader claims that Muslims have declared war on Christians, this goes against the ideals of right-thinking members of the human race, more so, as the country gears for the first general election under the new constitutional dispensation.

It is with this background that I call on Dr Mzalendo Kibuniia of the National Cohesion and Integration Commission-NCIC to probe the conduct of Reverend Willy Mutiso, the General Secretary of the Evangelical Alliance of Kenya, the umbrella organization of mainstream Evangelicals, Pentecostal and Charismatic Churches in Kenya.

Although a agree with Rev Mutiso that it is the responsibility of the Kenya government to secure churches and other places of worship, the man of God should understand that every Kenyan has a role to play to make our country secure. Criminals live within our communities; they are our neighbors, brothers, sisters, parents, etc. A member of the Al-Shabaab does not bear an identification mark or a special tattoo. Anybody can be a member. It can be a Luo, Luhya, Teso, Kamba, Kikuyu, Somali, Taita, Giriama or any other tribe. So by making a wild claim that the Church was being targeted by the Al-Shabaab, Rev Mutiso needs to explain to the country how his careless utterances with help heal this country.

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