Sunday, October 3, 2010

Churches want Murugi sacked over gay remarks

Gideon Maundu | NATION Participants at an HIV/Aids seminar in a jovial mood after Special Programmes Minister Esther Murugi (second right) officially opened it at a Mombasa hotel in October last year. The minister said the rights of gays and homosexuals should be respected.

Gideon Maundu | NATION Participants at an HIV/Aids seminar in a jovial mood after Special Programmes Minister Esther Murugi (second right) officially opened it at a Mombasa hotel in October last year. The minister said the rights of gays and homosexuals should be respected. 

By GALGALO BOCHA and WAINAINA wa NDUNGU

More than 74 churches have petitioned President Kibaki to sack Cabinet minister Esther Murugi over her last week remarks on gay rights in the country.

The churches, under the aegis of the Federation of Evangelical Indigenous Christian Churches of Kenya (FEICCK) warned of street demonstrations against the Ms Murugi, the Special Programmes minister.

In a statement, Dr Methu said Ms Murugi discredited her reputation and was unfit to hold public office.

The minister, while speaking last week in Mombasa, asked Kenyans to learn to co-exist with homosexuals and lesbians saying this is 21st century.

“This should happen in the shortest time possible; failure to which we shall not be left with any other option other than to ask those who care about righteousness and morality to demonstrate against her, “said FEICCK chairman Bishop Dr Joseph.

Dr Methu stressed unless intended to invite God’ wrath, Kenyans should not dare to allow homosexuality and lesbianism to thrive in the country.

“God will punish all forms of immorality despite who is promoting it and are at whatever level. We have observed Hon Murugi Transforming herself to becoming a trouble shooter and one who makes statements focused on demeaning and antagonizing the faith community in Kenya , “he further state in his statement to the Nation.

The FEICCK chairman said the faith community in Kenya respects the rights of all persons but will oppose all forms of propagation of ungodliness and immorality.

Separately, nominated MP Sheikh Mohammed Dor asked government spokesman Dr Alfred Mutua to issue official government position regarding Ms Murugi comment during HIV/AIDS symposium.                                  
“The minister is government and we need clarification from the Dr Mutua whether she was making personal comment or speaking on behalf of the government,” he told the Nation.
The function dubbed as Most At Risks Population (MARPs) attracted homosexuals, sex workers and Injecting Drug Users (IDU) because of their behaviour that put them at the greatest risk of being infected with HIV.

Sheikh Dor also called for minister be taken through new Constitution to learn its contents saying her utterance is unconstitutional and could further land her on wrong side of laws.

Earlier, the minister's call of support for homosexuals was condemned by the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (Supkem) and the Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya.

Former Kibwezi MP Kalembe Ndile joined in the fray on Sunday, terming the minister “unfocused” over the remarks, saying she should instead concentrate on resettling the IDPs.

Said Mr Ndile: “Three years are gone now (since the displacement) and we still have IDPs in the camps. Why should she concentrate on gay rights instead of focusing on these suffering Kenyans?”

Mr Ndile who spoke in the minister’s constituency said she could reap more political mileage were she to resettle the IDPs than by propagating the gay agenda.

He said he had personally experienced how dehumanizing it was to live in a squatter camp and would not wish it on any other human being.

The former MP said the government must now move fast to resettle the IDPs and end their suffering once and for all.
Ms Murugi could not be reached on phone on Sunday.

Mr Ndile also accused mainstream parties of ignoring the youth, women and the poor especially in giving out tickets to vie for important seats.

“It will be the straw that will break their backs,” said Mr Ndile while saying he personally lost his parliamentary seat in the 2002 general elections because of supporting President Kibaki at a time when Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka was popular in his backyard.

Mr Ndile also asked Kenyans to give newly elected Makadara MP Gidion Mbuvi alias Mike Sonko a break.

He accused Kenyans on concentrating on petty politics such as attacking Mbuvi.

“He is just a youth who should be allowed to prove himself,” said Mr Ndile.

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