NAIROBI, KENYA: Deputy President William Ruto is calling on religious leaders to work with the government in uniting Kenyans.
Ruto said a more united country will usher in more development, thereby empowering Kenyans economically.
Speaking at his residence in Karen, Nairobi, during a meeting with the African Inland Church (AIC) leaders from Ukambani on Thursday, the Deputy President said the journey to build a more cohesive Kenya that he started with President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2013 should be continued.
He noted that the perception that Lower Eastern, and other regions in Kenya, had been neglected by the government was as a result of the archaic politics that had fragmented the country into tribal cocoons.
“There is, therefore, a need for Kamba community to join hands and work together with the government. We ask for your support as church leaders to further integrate Kenyans. For sure, it is never too late to do the right things,” said Mr Ruto.
He said the meeting is the first in a series of others that seek to consolidate the President’s call for unity of Kenyans, which is Jubilee Party’s long-term agenda.
Together with President Kenyatta, Ruto said he will continue pushing for more development in all corners of Kenya.
The presiding Bishop-AIC Kenya Silas Yego said the church would be on the frontline in not only uniting Kenyans but also in pushing for more development in the country.
He said Kenyans were already exhausted by the past-day politics that promotes tribalism rather than fighting poverty.
“We all have the responsibility to build Kenya. In partnership with the government, we as church leaders will work together. However, we will not support leaders who preach divisions in the society,” said Mr Yego.
The church leaders called on the government to intervene and assist them in curbing cases of land grabbing, which had become pronounced in the Lower Eastern region.
“I urge the government to help us in getting title deeds for church organisations; otherwise we may end up losing our land parcels to conmen,” said John Kitala, the national secretary of AIC.
He added that institutions, particularly primary and secondary schools, should be given a free hand to operate and partner with religious organisations.
“There have been murmurs about churches sponsoring schools in Lower Eastern. The partnership is usually aimed at boosting the education of our children; we therefore ask Kenyans to support such initiatives,” said Mr Kitala.
The meeting was attended by more than 500 AIC leaders, drawn mainly from Makueni and Machakos Counties.