, 09 October, 2019 / 2:18 AM
The move by the Catholic Bishops in Kenya to unveil a six-month country-wide campaign against the vice of corruption has received support from within the country, ranging from institutions to individuals.
In a statement to the media soon after the Bishops launched their campaign on Sunday, October 6, the Chief Executive Officer of Kenya’s Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), Twalib Mbarak said, “The commission commends the move by the Catholic bishops calling for proper accountability and transparency in handling of all financial donations to the Church.”
“The decision by the Catholic Church to rally its faithful to strongly support the fight against corruption and ban all donations without proper source is welcomed,” the CEO of EACC emphasized.
Appreciating the move by the Catholic Bishops to regulate donations for Church activities, the EACC boss said, “It is public knowledge that corruption has reached disturbing levels in the country and culpable individuals are known to channel their ill-gotten wealth to religious organizations, mainly the church.”
The Bishops’ move has also received support from Catholic Members of Parliament as confirmed by their Chairman, Chris Wamalwa, in an interview with ACI Africa on the sidelines of the Sunday launch.
“We want to thank them (bishops) for the direction they have given for the fight against this monster corruption,” MP Wamalwa said and added, “as members of parliament we are going to put laws in place, we are going to support the fight against corruption.”
The legislature also lauded the Bishops for banning politics within the Church building saying, “Politics should stay away from the Church.”
Pope’s representative in Kenya, Archbishop Bert van Megen acknowledged with appreciation the Bishops’ move and said, “The initiative of the Bishops in Kenya is a very good initiative which could be an example for many other local churches in Africa.”
“You know that I am also the Nuncio of South Sudan and this is one of the things that I will bring to the Bishops of the country when I meet them,” Archbishop van Megen said in an interview with ACI Africa.
Hundreds of religious and clergy who were among the estimated 50,000 pilgrims who took part in the National Prayer Day at the Village of Mary Mother of God Shrine, Subukia in Kenya’s Nakuru diocese.
“I support the Bishop’s move on banning politics in church,” Sr. Mary Dativa of the Sisters of Mary Immaculate (SMI) of Nyeri in Kenya told ACI Africa and explained, “the campaign is good and uplifting even to the society because when politics are done inside the church they bring confusion and distraction to the Christians who had come to pray to God.”
“Greatly happy for the act of the bishops and the invitation to all Christians not only Catholics to kill and work against this animal called corruption,” said Fr. Paul Njoroge Kimani in an interview with ACI Africa.
“If we can follow the humility that the bishops have demonstrated by removing their shoes, going down on their knees and standing greatly strong to condemn the act of corruption our country can go far,” Fr. Kimani, a Franciscan Conventual added.
“We are taking a top down approach, that is, we want the Bishops to own the process, the priests to own the process and the families to own the process,” Grainne Kidakwa of Catholic Justice and Peace Commission (CJPC) of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) disclosed to ACI Africa in an interview.
“It is not only for Catholics but also for Muslims and any other denominations,” Kidakwa noted and added, “it is a new beginning for us, it is a new start, we have had challenges in the past but we want to own this process as Catholics.”
“We are committed to (fighting) corruption not only in words, but in action and therefore we hope that the message goes across the board to everybody, to every person in all spheres of life,” the Deputy General Secretary of KCCB, Fr. Lucas Ongesa Manwa told ACI Africa.
ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.
Father Don Bosco Onyalla
Editor-in-Chief, ACI Africa