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If restaurants can open then so should we, clerics tell Uhuru

Monday May 4 2020

African Independent Pentecostal Church of Africa, AIPCA, Archbishop Julius Njoroge

An African Independent Pentecostal Church of Africa (AIPCA) in Laikipia County. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

JAMES MURIMI
By JAMES MURIMI
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Christian and Muslim religious leaders in Nanyuki, who are reeling from the effects of Covid-19 rules, are united in their appeal to President Uhuru Kenyatta to allow reopening of their worship sanctuaries under stipulated guidelines from the Ministry of Health.

Speaking separately on Sunday, Imam Said Omar of Riyadh Majengo Mosque and African Independent Pentecostal Church of Africa (AIPCA) Laikipia East Diocese Bishop Ndirangu Ngunjiri appealed to the government to issue regulations akin to those issued to restaurants.

The duo reckon that if restaurants can open under certain rules then the same should be extended to places of worship.

"We are telling the President that it is also possible to open places of worship but with strict conditions that must be adhered to. We have been preaching to masses out there through social media platforms yet we don't get a chance to see them," the bishop said while conducting an online summon at St Paul AIPCA in Nanyuki town.

They say the sanctuaries should be allowed to accommodate a certain minimum number of congregants who will maintain social distancing and high hygiene standards to prevent the spread of coronavirus during summons.

"We have been doing a lot for the community and we cannot fulfill them via social media. I am appealing to all faithful that there are also expenses incurred by our churches even as we are fighting this pandemic," he said, adding that the President and his Cabinet should consider their plight.

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Mr Omar echoed the sentiments, saying proper guidelines should be sent to the clergy and the curfew hours extended from 7pm to 8pm to allow Muslim faithful to break their fast smoothly.

"Recently, the government deemed it right to open restaurants with stipulated conditions. Our mosque is vast and normally accommodates over 500 faithfuls. We should be allowed to accommodate at least 30 for prayers only because we have always maintained high standards of hygiene," the Imam said.