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.
“I had to travel about 40 Kilometers to intervene in a case of domestic violence because I had applied for a permit to allow me to travel during curfew hours. Supposing I had not applied for this permit? It could have been a disaster.”
At the same time, the clerics condemned the leaders who are attacking the judiciary over a five-judge bench judgement against the BBI and asked them to use legal procedures to address their grievances.
“It cannot be that the judiciary is good when it rules in your favour and becomes bad when it rules against you,” said Mr Lagho, adding, “There is a reason why there are three arms of government in the Constitution and the one in power cannot purport to make law for the people since they might end up making laws to benefit themselves. There was wisdom why the three arms of government exist and there is room to appeal against the ruling.”
Mr Lagho also advised leaders to learn to obey court orders and seek better ways to address their grievances through the appeal process.