25 September 2017

Kenya: Deputy President's Sh10 Million 'Donation' Splits Church

Photo: Philip Kamakya
DP William Ruto.

A Sh10 million donation by Deputy President William Ruto to the Pentecostal Assemblies of God threatens to divide the church.

Mr Ruto delivered the cheque to the church on September 14 during a national pastors' convention at the PAG headquarters in Nyang'ori, Vihiga County.

Some pastors said the donation was meant to induce PAG followers into supporting Jubilee during the October 26 presidential election rerun.

But General Superintendent Patrick Lihanda, the head of the church, dismissed the fears.

"We are apolitical and the donation was part of a pledge by the government to the church for development," he said.

His sentiments were supported by the Rev Tom Odego and Pastor Evans Nyamondi.

SH90 MILLION

But Kisumu Town PAG pastor Nathan Ondego on Saturday denied the existence of such a project.

"As a Christian, I want to tell you the truth. There is no such project at the PAG headquarters. We only know of the building of the general superintendent's house, which has so far consumed close to Sh90 million," Pastor Ondego told journalists in the lakeside town.

"We cannot sit and watch as pastors' names are used to solicit money from politicians. Our membership should not be used for selfish personal gains."

Pastor Ondego said there was a possibility of him being excommunicated for opposing the donation.

"You will soon hear that I have been thrown out of the church, but I will not allow PAG to be run like personal property," he said.

The Rev Odego and Pastor Nyamondi accused Pastor Ondego of tarnishing the name of the church.

BISHOP LIHANDA

"He has always wanted to bring this church down, but he must know the Lord is greater than him," said the Rev Odego.

Pastor Nyamondi defended Bishop Lihanda, saying he was a straightforward leader.

PAG General Treasurer Elisha Kimaiyo said only the general superintendent was allowed to speak on behalf of the church.

"You may ask our general superintendent what he intends to do with the money," said the Rev Kimaiyo.

Mr Ruto addressed the more than 6,500 pastors, delivered the cheque and said it was an honour from President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Last Week, the Revs Felix Amuyunzu and Peter Omondi said it was a shame "for the leadership to convert a spiritual event into a political forum".

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