President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday, July 6, issued 10 new directives as he lifted the remaining cessation of movement orders in three counties. But it was the third order that effectively barred some of the country's top politicians from attending religious services.
"That Sunday Schools and Madrasas shall remain suspended until further notice, and in-person worship shall not include congregants under the age of thirteen (13) years or above the age of fifty-eight (58) years or persons with underlying conditions," the directive reads in part.
The President argued that his decision was based on the fact that the elderly were more vulnerable to the coronavirus.
Interestingly, the Head of State may have locked himself out of church as well, having turned 58 in October 2019.
Other leaders who will have to stay home on Sundays are Raila Odinga, 75, Francis Atwoli, 70, Kivutha Kibwana, 66, Kalonzo Musyoka, 67, David Murathe, 65, Moses Wetangula, 64, Wycliffe Oparanya, 64, and Musalia Mudavadi, 59.From left, President Uhuru Kenyatta, Deputy President William Ruto, former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka and Musalia Mudavadi at the National Prayer Service held at State House Nairobi on March 21, 2020.PSCU
Notably, Deputy President (DP) William Ruto (53) made the cut and will be free to attend church services.
Over the last few months, DP Ruto had been hosting various religious leaders at his Karen office, having also publicised a church service he held at his Karen home.
The Kenyan clergy has been intimately involved in politics. Several church leaders have tried their hand in politics over the years such as Bishop Pius Muiru, head of the Maximum Miracle Ministries, who vied for the presidency in the 2007 general elections.
In parliamentary elections, two religious leaders were famously elected to serve in the House namely; Margaret Wanjiru who leads the Jesus Is Alive Ministries (JIAM) won the Starehe Parliamentary seat in 2007, and Reverend Mutava Musyimi who was declared as Gachoka MP in the same year.
Ultimately, the church has been a vote-rich constituency for Kenyan politicians over the years, with the various church leaders overseeing millions of congregants.
In his address, President Uhuru made it clear that only 100 people would be allowed to congregate in worship, with the service restricted to 1 hour.
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