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Kenya’s Eldoret Diocese Faults Media Reports on Alleged Arrest of Bishop over Debt

Sacred Heart Cathedral in Kenya's Diocese of Eldoret

The Financial Administrator of Kenya’s Eldoret Diocese has faulted media reports alleging the arrest of the Local Ordinary over an unpaid bank loan.

In an interview with ACI Africa, Fr. Geoffrey Mwanda called on the peddlers of the reports to seek information concerning the financial status of the Diocese from credible sources.

In the Monday, March 1 interview, Fr. Mwanda said that he had learnt of “a certain blogger on Twitter” who had exaggerated the Diocese’s debt, claiming that Bishop Dominic Kimengich had been arrested and that the Kenyan Diocese was facing an auction for being unable to clear a perceived bank loan.

He said that the intentions of the blogger, whose article had received a lot of reactions from Kenyans, are yet to be established.

“It is hard to understand the intention behind the lies and why the Twitter blogger wanted to harm the Diocese. The correct information is out there. He ought to have gotten his facts right,” Fr. Mwanda told ACI Africa.

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He added, “Our Bishop had been very candid in relaying the Diocese’s financial status. He wanted all Christians to know how the Diocese is doing. Many Dioceses do not allow such financial details to go out in the open. But this is just our Bishop’s leadership style and we love him for that.”

In his statement to Catholics of Eldoret Diocese, Fr. Mwanda sought to clarify the debt of the Diocese that media reports had exaggerated.

“We are aware of some information circulating on social media concerning the debt of the Catholic Diocese of Eldoret,” Fr. Mwanda states, and explains, “As alleged, when the late Bishop (Cornelius) Korir passed on, the Diocese had a debt of KSH.51million (US$500,000), not KSH.300million (US$3,000,000) as it is being claimed.”

In the statement seen by ACI Africa, the Financial Administrator of Eldoret Diocese in Kenya further clarifies that the Diocese has since paid KSH.12.5million (US$125,000) and that the outstanding debt is about 38 Million (US$380,000).

The Kenyan Cleric refutes allegations that the Catholic Diocese of Eldoret had taken a huge loan from a bank and that the bank was threatening to auction the Diocese.

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He also refutes claims that Bishop Kimengich had been arrested over the debt and clarified that the Bishop is carrying out his ministry “peacefully and freely.”

Fr. Mwanda also notes that the Diocese made it public to all Catholics of Eldoret Diocese concerning the debt through several meetings with leaders and other stakeholders.

“The Diocese also used the radio station to pass the same massage and also appealed to all Catholic Christians of Eldoret Diocese to help settle the debt without limiting one’s capability,” Fr. Mwanda says in his statement.

The member of the Clergy of Eldoret Diocese adds, “The truth is out there with our Christians throughout the Diocese and the support we are getting is overwhelming.”

He told ACI Africa that the incident would not deter the Diocesan leadership from sharing its financial status with Catholics of the Kenyan Diocese, adding that such transparency enhances accountability.

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