Kibra church, mosque fires: 'Meet and talk', religious leaders tell Ruto, Raila

PCEA Church Moderator Thegu Mutahi addressing journalists in Kibra, Nairobi on Tuesday, March 28, 2023. [Courtesy]

Religious leaders in Nairobi have urged President William Ruto and Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya leader Raila Odinga to hold dialogue in efforts to avert ugly scenes witnessed on Monday, March 27.

In Kibra Constituency, a mosque and a church were torched by unknown people in what is suspected to be a case of political differences and revenge.

Religious leaders now say it is unfortunate that political differences have taken a religious trajectory.

Sheikh Al Haji Ole Nado, the chairperson of the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims, said Kibra constituents had for long lived peacefully, and that politics should not be allowed to cause a rift between them.

"It is unfortunate that the incident (burning of a mosque and a church) is taking place during the Holy Month of Ramadhan. The people of Kibra should not be misled and used as tools for political fights," he said.

Thegu Mutahi, the Moderator of PCEA, who also addressed journalists in Kibra on Tuesday, March 28, termed the torching of religious facilities in the constituency criminal.

"It will cost us a lot in rebuilding what has been brought down. [What we witnessed last night] are not religious fights, but criminal offences aimed at destroying [property] and dividing Kenyans," said Mutahi.

The members of the clergy are now calling upon President William Ruto and Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya leader Raila Odinga to set aside their differences and dialogue for the benefit of Kenyans.

"They (Ruto and Odinga) can still meet and talk without a handshake [coming out of it]. We are urging the president to use his powers to make Kenya habitable for everyone," added Mutahi.

The PCEA moderator further asked Odinga to embrace legal means to resolve his grievances instead of pushing for demonstrations.

The clergymen also urged media to exercise social responsibility during coverage of the protests to avert escalating the violence.

The religious leaders have asked well-wishers to help the families affected by the Monday skirmishes in Kibra.

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