Kenya: Clerics Ask to Be Listed as Essential Service Providers

Religious leaders have demanded to be included in the list of essential service providers to enable them to offer services without restrictions during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The leaders, drawn from the Coast Interfaith Council of Clerics (CICC), and led by Malindi Catholic Bishop Willybard Lagho, said that many Kenyans acknowledge the existence of God and worship him, thereby making worship one of their fundamental aspects of life.

Speaking during the interdenominational breakfast meeting at his residence in Malindi attended by 11 religious leaders from Kilifi County, the clergyman noted that even the preamble of the 2010 Constitution of Kenya acknowledges the supremacy of God.

“The Preamble of the Constitution states ‘We, the people of Kenya- acknowledging the supremacy of the Almighty God of all creation’, but it is interesting that during the Covid-19 pandemic we wondered why worship was left out among the essential services after the government listed matters on security, health and to some extent transport as essential services,” he said.

Mr Lagho said religious leaders play an important role in moulding people’s behaviours and they have a ready audience, which voluntarily gathers for worship once per week.

His sentiments were echoed by Bishop Amos Lewa of Joy Fellowship Ministries, who is also the CICC general secretary, saying cases of domestic violence leading to murder have been on the rise and the religious could help address the problem.

“For instance, yesterday I returned home at around 11pm after arbitrating a conflict between a husband and his wife who were about to fight. Such cases are on the rise and people are killing one another,” he said.