Church leaders and preachers from various denominations have cautioned Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja against taxing street preachers. In the recently passed Finance Act, the county has imposed taxes on street preachers who will henceforth be forced to pay before being given the green light to spread the gospel. They will be charged between Sh500 and Sh1,000 depending on location.
Preachers pitching tents at Jeevanjee Gardens will part with Sh500 per day while those giving sermons on lawns will pay Sh1,000.
The move has angered Evangelical Alliance of Kenya (EAK) Chairman Bishop Nelson Makanda who warned City Hall to stop taxing preachers. “The governor got a lot of support from the church, and taking that route is not fair. There are many desperate and hopeless people on the streets who change once they hear words of hope from street preachers,” he observed.
Makanda explained that some preachers on the streets want to pass a message of hope and that they should be allowed to do so without taxing them.
He asked Sakaja to rescind the decision. The Federation of Evangelical and Indigenous Churches of Kenya has equally warned that the taxation of preachers is strange.
The federation’s chairman Samuel Njiriri argues that preachers who show up on the street are not in any business other than saving souls. “In fact, we are assisting the government to reform immoral people in society. It is very wrong to tax preachers. In other countries churches are funded by the government,” Njiriri stated.
“Some of those people in the parks are facing many challenges in life but once they hear preachers talking about a second chance, they change.” According to Njiriri preachers complement in reforming people and therefore should not be charged for that effort.
Clergy Association of Kenya chairman Bishop Hudson Ndeda expressed similar views, arguing that preaching is a calling and not a business.
- Reverend T Mwangi: How to spot a cult
- Two Nairobi MCAs kicked out for inappropriate dress code
- Rev Victor Githu hits out at church leaders for chasing clout, hypocrisy
- Anglican Church changes tune on hymns, lyrics