Deputy President William Ruto has changed his tactics in playing politics in the church, despite some religious leaders barring politicians from speaking at official church services and events.
This was evidently seen on Sunday, September 19, when he was called to address a church congregation. He made no political utterances but took to the pulpit to announce his charity work.
This comes barely a day since the African Church of the Holy Spirit in Malava, Kakamega County was ordered by an unidentified County official to scale down the DP’s visit.
In a church service at the African Independent Pentecostal Church of Africa (AIPCA) Gathaithi Church in Githunguri, Kiambu County (broadcast live on his official Twitter account), the Deputy President and his political allies stole the show, as politics dominated the speeches made.
“We have been asked to avoid politicking in church and that is why I am not going to make any political pronouncements while standing on a church pulpit,” Ruto said.
Prior to this, Kiambu County Women Representative Gathoni Wa Muchomba took to the podium to introduce different personalities that had attended the service, shortly after the sermon.
“Today, I am not going to play politics here, that, we will do outside this place,” Wa Muchoba said.
At the mention of a politician’s name, they would stand and wave to the faithful, who could be heard cheering. A political mood was in the air.
And when he (Deputy President) was given a chance to address the congregants, apart from cracking jokes here and there, the second in command chose to use the platform to announce the donations he was making to the church and some of its needy members.
Days ago, the Anglican Churches of Kenya (ACK) and the Roman Catholic church barred politicians from speaking in church services and events saying allowing politics in church overrides ministering.
ACK Archbishop Jackson Ole Sapit barred some politicians from addressing congregants at a church event in Butere.
“The church is open for everybody because it is a healing place but we are not going to allow people to take the space of ministry for politics. We cannot mix politics and the Word." Sapit said.
In an exclusive interview with Spice FM’s Situation Room last Monday, Sapit had also poked holes in church fundraising events, saying it is a major tactic used by politicians to try and sway the church into supporting them.
“I am highly against announcing people’s contributions in church. Giving should be done quietly. It is not advisable to announce what someone has offered,” the Archbishop said.