When Governor Alfred Mutua commissioned three statues in Machakos Town and its environs in October last year, he may have had good intentions of honouring renowned freedom fighters from the county who died uncelebrated.
“Recognition of our heroes is a sign of maturity and development.
"We are here because of the sacrifices our heroes like Muindi Mbingu and others made during the struggle for independence,” Dr Mutua said while unveiling one of the statues.
However, some church leaders and Christians in Machakos are now reading a different script and have equated the statues to idols, claiming that they are hampering the spread of the Gospel.
The statue of Paul Ngei, a Kamba freedom fighter who was among the ‘Kapenguria six’ imprisoned together with first President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, stands proudly at Kyumbi Makutano junction on the Nairobi-Mombasa Highway.
That of Muindi Mbingu, another freedom fighter, stands outside Kenyatta Stadium while a third statue of Mulu Mutisya is erected at Mulu Mutisya Gardens.
It is the statue of Mulu Mutisya, the Kamba political supremo in retired President Daniel Moi’s government, that has received the ire of Grace House Worship Church Bishop John Aguda.
The man of the cloth says the erecting of the statue heralds an era of idolatry, “which will lead to increase in social evils”.
Last weekend, the fiery preacher held a three-day crusade at Mulu Mutisya Gardens and denounced the naming of the garden after the Kamba leader.
He also condemned the unveiling of the statue.
The preacher said the gardens should henceforth be known as ‘Jesus Gardens’.
“....We say no to idol worship. We worship the living God,” Bishop Aguda thundered as the crusaders acknowledged his call.
Ms Violet Kioko, one of the worshippers, said: “Ever since the statue was erected in the garden, no preacher has held a crusade here. There is power in these things, which ordinary mortals may not discern unless revealed by the spirit.”
The sculpture of a peacock that was apparently placed in the garden for ornamental purposes was not spared either.
Mr Aguda said it was an idol, which represented pride.
"We denounce the spirit of pride as enshrined in this bird. This town belongs to Jesus!” The bishop pronounced.