Retired Bishop Silas Yego: Mzee Moi never politicked in church

The retired Africa Inland Church Bishop Silas Yego. [File]

He is a household name for his decade-long close relationship with former President Daniel Moi, who was a member of the AIC Church and staunch Christian.

Long-serving Africa Inland Church (AIC) Bishop Silas Yego said he had met Moi on two occasions - Mombasa and Eldama Ravine before Moi invited him to Kabarak when they met again in Litein.

He described the former president as a devoted Christian whose endearing factor, was his reluctance to mix politics with worship.

Yego said he had come across a letter Moi had written to the Africa Inland Mission in 1945 declaring that he had dedicated his life to Jesus.

“Moi was a Christian. He really valued what the Bible taught. He did not mix politics with the church,” said Yego in an interview with KTN News.

He recalled that Moi always said he would rather speak outside than desecrate the altar with politics. But things are different today and he weeps for what the church has become, allowing politicians to dictate proceedings.

“I am heartbroken when I see that the church has become just another political venue. In my day that would never have happened,” he said.

“I think they are happy (politicians) because I am not there,” he said.

He said the direction most politicians have taken should worry Kenyans.

“They need to cool political temperatures. Politics does not always have to be confrontational and negative,” Yego said.

Sentimental attachment

Bishop Yego retired in December 2019 after serving as the AIC-Kenya presiding bishop for 18 years. He was replaced by Reverend Abraham Mulwa.

Despite settling into a quiet life as a farmer in his rural home in Naisambu in Kitale, Trans Nzoia County, the retired cleric feels a sentimental attachment to the church he served for close to five decades.

Yego has not entirely retired from the church, however, as he still ministers at his local church in Naisambu.  Yego also frowns upon commercialisation of the ministry that is rampant today. “If you look at the people we have leading our churches, you will notice they are after wealth,” he said.

Yego holds a Biblical view of wealth and riches – that it should not block your union with Christ. He said there were opportunities to enrich himself from the properties owned by the church or his relationship to Mzee Moi, but they were never options for him.

“Some of my colleagues in AIC used Mzee, but I stuck to my calling from God to spread the gospel,” he said.

There are challenges that ministers face in their vocation, they are not unique, Yego revealed.

“People are the same ones who turned on Moses. They grumble and lie but despite all of that if your faith is in God they will not faze you,” he said.

But it was not always certain that Yego would become a cleric. He started out as a teacher and taught for three years before giving it up to become a minister.

There were two paths he could have taken, he said. “I received two letters of offer for college. One for theological training and the other to a teacher training college,” he said.

While it was clear to him what he had to do he had to convince his family members.