Nyamweya is a journalist currently attached to a leading Kenyan media
Is one’s faith or degree of belief in Christianity an important consideration in evaluating one as a potential leader? Kenya has had four presidents all of who confessed to having faith in God. The Kenyatta family and Kibaki were all Catholic believers while Moi was an AIC attendee, this made the church a de-facto state denomination for the time they were in power. Truth be told these leaders messed up this country and not in any way did their religion control the appetite for corruption in various government institutions. In fact, during Moi’s era whenever public land was dished out to connected people the AIC church was also a beneficiary. Religion does not define true leadership therefore Christians should stop pushing other Christians for electoral posts. Francois Hollande, the French president is an atheist while Zoran Milano the prime minister of Croatia is also an atheist. Kenya still ranks below these countries in the corruption index even though it glorifies religion.
Raila was vying to be the next head of state in the just concluded elections and the question that still lingers in people’s heads is why does he always lose despite having many supporters? Raila have been at the verge of controversy when it comes to religion. At one instance during a rally, he said that when the missionaries were in Kenya they glorified and elevated Christianity over other religions. He claimed that that culture is still on and that when he is appointed as the next head of state he will get rid of the vice. This angered most Christians since his remarks meant that he will bring an end to religion. Later on, he apologized for these remarks citing that he was misquoted explaining that he was addressing a group of Muslim women who were complaining about discrimination against Muslim women when they apply for passports and identity cards. This was not interpreted well by most Christians.
In another instance, Raila made fun of God when he was addressing people in Nakuru. He said that God likes to urinate in an area called Molo since the place was very fertile and it was raining most of the time. This angered Christians since they believe no one should mock God. He claimed if God urinated often other areas will face natural calamities such as floods and they will suffer. Though he seemed to be cracking a joke this did not ogre well with other Christians.
At a service, Raila came clean and said he is a real Christian and called off his competitors who were calling him a witch doctor. He insisted that witch doctors are also people and they treat people hence no one should attack them. Christians normally believe in the hospitals and the power of God to heal but not in witch doctors. Raila has also been criticizing his opponent for dishing out a lot of money to churches. Raila claimed that Ruto was stealing money and giving to church projects and also in several other gatherings. Christians believe just like the leaders in the Bible our current leaders should be at the front in supporting churches since God loves a society that loves him and supports his work. Raila on the other hand has not been active in giving out donations in churches and many Christians don’t like him since they think he is a selfish man and does not support churches.
Raila has also been criticizing his opponent Mr. Ruto for praying every time in his rallies. Raila insisted that Ruto should only be praying with his wife at home but not in rallies. This sparked anger in most Christians since they believe prayer is a way of life and communicating to God should be done daily. Raila should not have criticized him since many people realized he was not a prayerful person. He has also been proclaiming himself as the current Joshua and that his vision is to lead Kenyans to the promised where there is milk and honey. In the Bible, Joshua liberated Israelites from slavery in Egypt to Cannan. He used this metaphor to show that Kenya will be set free from the hardship they are going through and he is the Joshua of current times since he will lead them to a better Kenya. By caricaturing himself as Joshua, Raila tainted his religious influence since Christian’s viewed this as a mockery of the word of God. At one time his opponent Mr. Ruto dismissed him as a fake Joshua since Raila proposed that he will legalize the sale of chang’aa and busaa. His opponent further criticized him since in Canaan there was milk and honey and not chang’aa and busaa a traditional brew among Africans. Undeterred in his quest for the top seat, Raila started promising his supporters during his campaign his utopia of Canaan. The Christians were not receptive since they believed Raila cannot be compared to Joshua.
In conclusion, Raila has not been able to inspire confidence in Christians and is mostly seen to be an opposition and a defector. These mistakes that Raila did have gotten a toll on him since it has made him lose confidence in people who are strong in the Christian faith. Christianity is integral to every society and should be respected.