Clerics accuse politicians of meddling in Maseno West ACK polls

Outgoing Bishop Joseph Otieno Wasonga. (Standard)
Religious leaders have accused local politicians of meddling in the church’s campaigns for the elections of new bishop for Maseno West Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) Diocese. political interference

The election is slated for Saturday at the St Stephen ACK church in Siaya town where three candidates face off to replace Bishop Joseph Otieno Wasonga who is retiring after 29 years of service.

The Search committee from the diocese had already sent to the Arch Bishop Jackson ole Sapit, three names of Canon Francis Omondi, Reverend Mark Godia and Prof James Kombo out of the eight aspirants who had expressed interest in the seat.

Speaking to The Standard on phone, Reverend Lawrence Aluru of Maseno West Diocese accused politicians of causing confusion and infiltrating the church issues.

"Local politicians have meddled in our issues during this campaign period. They have interfered with other candidates. There is confusion as a result of their activities, it is sad that they have even given campaign money to some candidates," said Aluru.

Rev Aluru however dispelled claims that there were divisions among the clergy ahead of today’s elections.

He instead said the clergy had only differed on opinion with different groups supporting different candidates.

"Claiming that we are divided is a misleading statement and may sound negative. The clergy and church leaders only have different opinions which is normal in any election. We are intact and worshiping together," he explained.

A team from the Electoral College which consist of 23 people is expected to vote in today's elections. Out of the 23 members of the Electoral College, 16 are from the diocese and seven are from the province.

The 16 from the diocese are members of the standing committee while the seven have been appointed by the Arch Bishop to come and oversee the process.

The seven members from the province, led by the chancellor who is the returning officer are already in Siaya town for elections.

Reverend Kenneth Wachianga also said there were no division as being claimed but every team struggling to have its candidate win.

He asked the clergy to be prepared to accept the verdict and outcome of the election today.

He told off those spinning propaganda in the church claiming that it  could leave the diocese divided leading to poor working relationship in the future.

"God has already given us a leader and the only thing we are waiting for is confirmation. My only plea is for the members of clergy to accept the verdict of the election," said Wachianga.

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Siaya townAnglican Church of KenyaBishop Otieno WasongaJackson ole SapitMaseno West Diocesepolitical interference