He accuses leaders of going mute as Kenyans suffer in the wake coronavirus outbreak
AU special envoy Raila Odinga has challenged political leaders who used to donate colossal sums of money to churches before the outbreak of Covid-19 to donate the funds to struggling Kenyans in the wake of the pandemic.
In what was seen as a dig at Deputy President William Ruto, Raila urged leaders to donate for the poor now that churches are closed.
In an interview with a local radio station on Friday, Raila wondered where the philanthropic leaders have gone to at the hour of need.
"We have witnessed in the past leaders go to church every weekend, on Saturday they are in church, on Sunday they are in church giving donations, Kenyans are wondering where are they now,” Raila said
"Because now there is no church, the money that they were taking to church, they should now use that money to help the people.
He slammed the leaders for being mute when Kenyans need them, adding that with the directives issued by the government to curb the spreads of coronavirus, most Kenyans are feeling the pinch and should be assisted.
"Don’t just sit in your house, sleep and wait for everything to clear then you start giving donations to the church again,” he said.
"I would like to see them helping the people, even if you are not going there physically, but you are giving a little."
This comes a day after Raila, his wife Ida Odinga among other sponsors donated a consignment to Kibra residents, which included food, sanitisers, soap, oil and water, through the national government.
The Sh15 million worth supplies were meant to help residents of Kibra during the coronavirus pandemic crisis.
The former Prime Minister said the donation that he gave to the people of Kibra was as a result of him talking to his friends to donate.
The ODM leader said he is talking to his friends again to help various slums in Nairobi and a number of towns in the country.
Raila’s remarks could elicit a heated political debate between his supporters and those of Ruto who have been silent since the outbreak of Covid-19 in mid-March.
Raila has in the past took issues with the church for receiving hefty donations without questioning the source, wondering how a person who earns a monthly salary of Sh1 million can afford to donate a hundred million shillings in a month.
Raila maintained that the hefty donations dished out to churches should be investigated, stating that they could be proceeds of corruption and part of a wider money-laundering racket.
“Every weekend this church Sh5 million, that church Sh5 million, that other church Sh5million. Every weekend 15 million yet your monthly salary is only Sh1 million.”
Ruto, however, said he will continue to donate money to the church despite critics claiming that politicians use the clergy to sanitise proceeds of corruption.