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War on graft: Church urged to vet funders, avoid sanitizing corruption money

The church is being challenged to rethink its strategy of mobilising for resources with the view to keeping illegally-acquired resources getting to the pulpit.

Archbishop Jackson ole Sapit of the Anglican Church says the church must desist from hyping those giving the money and instead encourage people, including politicians, to do it silently.

He said the matter has so far attracted “mixed reactions as some church leaders say they can’t identify clean and dirty money”.

“Let us learn as a church to worship God with our resources quietly. Let us not hide behind this thing called harambees and guest of honours,” he told a news conference, subbed multi-sectoral initiative against corruption.

Concerns that some politicians have been spending millions of questionable cash in places of worship while using it to woo supporters have been rife, with deputy President William Ruto in the centre of the criticism.

“The pulpit should only be for the worship leaders,” he said.

On public debt, he cautioned that unless Kenyans see value, it will remain a burden on their shoulders.

“It is worrying that we continue to commit our revenue heavily to paying debts at the expense of development and essential services,” he pointed out.

He called on the government to “know” how to manage the current debt without going for more.

His sentiments come as President Uhuru Kenyatta leads a delegation to China, during which he is set to seek a KSh380 billion loan for Phase 3 of the Standard Gauge Railway from Naivasha to Kisumu.

The African Union Commission High Representative for Infrastructure Development Raila Odinga will also make the trip to Beijing.

The government is understood to have proposed the splitting of the cost for the 270 km line into a loan and grant.

During his September 2018 visit to Beijing, Kenyatta signed a deal for the construction of two roads in the North Eastern region – Modogashe-Habaswein-Samatar road and Elwak-Rhamu road – at the cost of Sh15 billion.

The country is currently completing the second phase of a 120 km SGR line linking the capital to Naivasha at the cost of Sh150 billion.

The line connecting the port city of Mombasa to Nairobi has been operational since May 31, 2017.

The 485 km Mombasa-Nairobi link was completed at the cost of Sh327 billion.

The completion of the SGR extension to Kisumu and then finally to the border in Malaba is seen as crucial to Kampala’s efforts to secure funding for a similar infrastructure will connect the capital to Tororo, Gugu, Mpondwe, Bihanga, and Mirama.

PHOTO/COURTESY

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