“The government has no knowledge of theology matters, the government has no intention whatsoever of interfering with the internal affairs of religious organisations,” Muigai said after the meeting which was also attended by Registrar of Societies and the Registrar General.
“The government does however have a legal, political and a moral responsibility to ensure that religious organisations perform their work in an environment that is peaceful and fosters social justice and helps in the spiritual development of our nation.”
The meeting agenda was pegged on two items; the changes brought about by the enactment of the Marriage Act and the move to remove the religious organisations from the Societies Act.
During the meeting, the Church leaders pushed for the establishment of the faith-based desk at the Office of Registrar of Societies.
The two groups agreed on the establishment of a forum discussing how a final regulatory framework should look like.
“We will agree in the very near future on a raft of administrative changes that should be made in the Office of the Registrar of Societies to create a special unit in the long run dedicated primarily to religious institutions and therefore to give flexibility and make sure that when religious leaders approach our office the mechanism is efficient and responsive,” Githu said.
The AG explained that the proposed legislation for religious institutions is meant to comply with the Constitution. He noted that political parties and trade unions which were initially regulated by the Societies Act are now managed by their own respective legislations.
“Noting in particular that while there is freedom of worship, we also have in our Constitution the national values, the principles of accountability, transparency and responsibility. We are looking for a framework that harmonises this,” he said.
The meeting follows a directive from the AG who has suspended registration of new religious organisations following an expose by KTN highlighting activities of Pastor Victor Kanyari who is accused of conning Kenyans.
The AG reaffirmed that the moratorium should not be viewed as interference to those who want to start their own churches, mosques and temples.
“This moratorium is intended to permit the dialogue going on to give us the minimum institutional changes. We hope we will bring it to an end in the very reasonable future,” Githu said.
Anglican Church of Kenya Bishop Macmillan Kiiru who spoke on behalf of the church leaders welcomed the dialogue with the office of the Attorney General.
The AG was earlier forced to request the media which was beaming the meeting live to leave the room after a section of the religious leaders had walked out of the meeting objecting to live broadcasts.
Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko has ordered the police to open an investigation on the preacher who is accused of coaching his church members to dupe Kenyans on fake miracles.
The meeting was attended by officials from the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution, State Law Office among others.