NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 1 – Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe declared the extension of the Interfaith Council’s tenure by six months on Friday as the application of COVID-19 measured entered a new year.
The council had been tasked to come up with protocols for worship services, celebration of weddings and other religious ceremonies under COVID-19 containment protocols which include social distancing.
“I would like to announce and mention that we have extended the term so that can continue to assist us for a period of another six months,” Kagwe said.
The extension of the council’s term comes at a time of heightened efforts slow the spread of the virus as the health ministry plans the roll out of a vaccination program targeting medical staff and other vulnerable groups.
Kagwe, who was addressing journalists on Friday congratulated the council chaired by Nyeri Catholic Archbishop Anthony Muheria which was appointed in June 2020 and whose term expired in December.
The council was mandated to review the re-opening of worship places which had been closed when the virus outbreak was reported in the country.
Under the appointment, Archbishop Muheria was mandated to guide the council on development of stringent protocols for a phased re-opening of places of worship in guidelines expected to allow a more participatory mode of worship under the COVID-19 pandemic.
Members of the Inter-Religious Faith Council include among others Bishop John Obala (KCCB), Bishop Joseph Obanyi, Rev. Moderator Julius Mwamba (PCEA), Canon Chris Kamau Kinyanjui (NCCK), Canon Rosemary Mbogo (ACK), Samuel Makori and Al Hajj Hassan Ole Naado (SUPKEM).
Others Sheikh Sukyan Hassan Omar (SUPKEM), Sheikh Abdulatif Abdulkarim (KCIU), Rev. Joseph Mutie (OAIC), Bishop David Onginde (CITAM), Rev. Connie Kivuti, Sujata Kotamraju (Hindu Council of Kenya), Retired Rev. Samuel Thiong’o Mwangi (General Conference of Akorino Churches Assembly) and Sheikh Ali Said Samojah.
Doctor Kepha Ombacho (Director of Special Programmes MoH), Francis Kuria (Inter-Religious Council of Kenya) and Paul Famba (Director of Administration Interior Ministry) serve as joint secretaries.