Church to use tithe cash for its ‘No’ campaigns
Posted Friday, April 30 2010 at 21:00
- Clerics oppose use of public money to fund the ‘Yes’ drive
The Church on Friday said it would use the Sunday offerings and tithes to finance its ‘No’ campaigns.
Church leaders made the announcement when they rolled out the programme.
They, however, want government officials not to use State resources in their ‘Yes’ campaigns. The clerics spoke at Ufungamano House, where they announced the official launch of their ‘No’ campaigns in a ‘prayer rally’ scheduled for Uhuru Park on Saturday next week.
In what appeared to be the laying down of the rules of engagement in readiness for a bruising battle with the government over the draft constitution, the church leaders warned Treasury and the US Embassy in Nairobi against bankrolling the ‘Yes’ drive.
The clerics said if the government spent public resources on the ‘Yes’ campaigns, it should also spend an equivalent amount on the ‘No’ drive since both sides consist of taxpayers.
“It must be made clear that State resources should not be used to fund the ‘Yes’ campaigns since this will be tantamount to the government using taxpayers’ money against them,” said the church leaders in a press statement.
Arrangements for the rally, they said, were complete, including notifying the police of their intention to hold the meeting. According to the organisers, Saturday’s rally alone will require at least Sh10 million.
Much more is needed for more rallies to be held across the country.
The church leaders denied that some of these funds might be coming from foreign sources.
Instead, they said, their congregation would be footing the bill, through Sunday offerings and tithes.
“There are many Christians and Kenyans who feel strongly about this matter. Beyond the offertory, they will contribute generously,” said the Rev Peter Karanja, the general secretary of the National Council of Churches of Kenya.
Elsewhere, Anglican Church of Kenya Bishop James Kenneth Ochiel of the Southern Nyanza Diocese on Friday broke ranks with the decision taken by the church’s highest organ not to support the draft.
He declared that he would push for the ‘Yes’ campaign.
“Majority of the faithful want nothing but a new constitution,” he said.
At the same time, National Community-Based Organisation Council chairman Tom Aosa urged those opposed to the draft constitution to seek amendments after the referendum.
Reported by Muchiri Karanja, Maurice Kaluoch and Peter Mwai