NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 10 – The National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) has expressed support for the proposal by Attorney General Githu Muigai to regulate religious institutions following reports that they were being used to swindle innocent members of the public.,
NCCK Secretary General Reverend Canon Peter Karanja however says their input must be sought in the formulation of the framework to tame rogue religious leaders.
“There is a suggestion that maybe a legal mechanism could be put in place that could check excesses by such religious leaders; NCCK doesn’t have a fundamental problem with that… we just say that religious leaders make their input in that process so that what is agreed is applicable widely,” Canon Karanja said.
He went on to urge the government to take action against those found guilty of engaging in malpractices and compared the church to a public institution which is funded by public money and thus regulated by law which if contravened attracts a penalty.
“Religious leaders like all other Kenyans who manage and run institutions are under the law, and where a religious leader is seen to operate outside the law they should be held to account like every other Kenyan. It is not just the church, but all religious institutions, including the mosques where radicalisation happens.”
Karanja exonerated the NCCK registered institutions from blame, saying there were different fraternal groups and structures of churches pointing out that there were other numerous religious groups and churches not affiliated to major churches that had discipline.
The AG on Sunday had intimated that he will constitute a taskforce to review the registration and management of religious communities, churches, mosques and temples to ensure accountability.
The proposal was brought about by an expose about alleged malpractices by Victor Kanyari of the Salvation Healing Ministries by a local TV station, where he is alleged to be receiving money through false pretenses.
The Department of Criminal Investigation is already probing the matter.