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Catholic church threatens to return MP Simba Arati’s Sh100,000 donation

By Eric Abuga | November 29th 2021

Dagoretti North M.P Simba Arati. [Edward Kiplimo, Standard]

A Catholic church in Kisii has threatened to return Dagoretti North MP Simba Arati’s donation.

The MP is said to have stormed out of Nyamagwa Paris after being denied a chance to address the congregation on Sunday.

The Sunday service was attended by Pope’s representative to Kenya, Hubertus Matheus Maria van Megan.

Arati had donated Sh100,000 to the church. A source within the church told The Standard that the leadership had threatened to return the donation as a warning to other politicians who have a habit of politicking at the pulpit.

“It is unfortunate that some political leaders give donations to the church as a way of wanting to have an audience right inside the church. We need to approach matters of Christianity and church with a lot of care and sobriety.”

During the church function, Kisii Catholic Bishop Joseph Mairura warned politicians against politicking inside the church. “We must uphold respect, this is a holy place.”

Bobasi MP Innocent Obiri, who was the host had been called to the podium to address the congregation and later invite Kiminini MP Chirs Wamalwa, the Chairman of the Catholic MPs Spiritual Support Initiative (CAMPSSI) and Ford Kenya Party leader Moses Wetang'ula to speak.

However, this did not go down well with Arati, who was not allowed to address the congregation.

MPs Nyaribari Masaba Ezekiel Machogu, Shadrack Mose (Kitutu Masaba) and Joseph Majimbo Kalasinga (Kabuchai), among others present at the function, did not have a chance to address the congregation.

Arati was forced to walk out of the church. He later addressed his supporters outside the church.

Obiri said he had been an active member of the church and contributed towards the construction of the new church.

"I was instructed to allow only two specific members to speak. My colleague, Arati, started protesting why I did not allow him to speak. Police took him out of the church," he said.

Obiri alleged that the parish priest did not invite Arati to the church function. “We had more than six MPs present at the event. I don’t know why he felt entitled that he had to speak.”

In September, Anglican Church of Kenya Archbishop Jackson Ole Sapit had barred politicians from speaking during a church service in Butere, where he presided over the consecration of the first female Bishop of the Anglican Church, Reverend Rose Okeno.

Politicians in attendance included former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi, Wetang'ula, and Cotu boss Francis Atwoli.

“At this time of Covid-19, we want to open up our churches as places for vaccination. Our clergy should be mobilising as many people to come to churches as centres of vaccination because we are about saving lives,” Sapit said.

Sapit said the church is a place of worship, spiritual nourishment and the sole purpose of gathering on Sundays and any other worship day is to worship God.

He accused politicians of attacking their opponents on the pulpit, making the church less conducive for spiritual nourishment.

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