We have a role to play in BBI, Pentecostal churches say

Monday February 03 2020

African Foundation of Churches of Kenya Chairman Joseph Kamau (left) and Archbishop Joshua Gitonga during a press briefing after a meeting at River Bank Hotel in Nkubu, Meru County on February 2, 2020. They called for inclusions of church leaders in BBI meetings. PHOTO | CHARLES WANYORO | NATION MEDIA GROUP


Leaders of Pentecostal churches in Mt Kenya region have called on the government to involve them in drumming up support for the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) in order to enhance ownership of the process.

The religious leaders under the auspices of African Foundation of Churches of Kenya, said their faithful are asking them to offer guidance on the BBI document.

The clergymen drawn from Meru, Tharaka-Nithi, Kirinyaga, Embu and Laikipia counties want the BBI steering committee to train them and give them copies of the document to share with the faithful.


Forum chairman Bishop Joseph Kamau said there is grumbling among most members of public since they only understand BBI to be a platform for creating posts for a select number of politicians.

“We don’t like the situation whereby we only see politicians singing in various platforms saying ‘nobody can stop reggae’ and not explaining anything. We want BBI to be channelled directly to mwananchi through the church and not the politicians.


“We ask our President Uhuru Kenyatta to separate BBI from politics and allow us to work with the BBI steering committee to reach our people,” he said.


Addressing journalists at Riverbank Hotel in Nkubu town on Sunday, the clergymen demanded for the exclusion of leaders facing court cases from spearheading BBI grassroots forums saying it will send a negative message.

They said involvement of leaders suspected of participating in various crimes especially corruption in the rallies could be interpreted to mean that the document is meant for sanitising such deeds.

“If they see such people spearheading BBI, they will think they are pushing for laws that will offer them protection from court cases.

“As church leaders, we feel corrupt leaders should not spearhead the programme. If you are not clean, and you start telling Kenyans about how good BBI is, it will not portray good picture. They should stay away from BBI forums and follow the programme from the side-lines,” Bishop Kamau said.


The leaders at the same time said they are confident that ODM leader Raila Odinga will make inroads in Mt Kenya region despite the insults and name-calling he endured from President Uhuru Kenyatta’s team in previous campaigns.

“During war time, anybody can say anything about the other because it is a competition. You might find people painting the others as thieves. I believe it was just about politics and there was nothing serious. What matters is that they have forgiven each other and they are walking together,” Archbishop Joshua Gitonga said.

Rev Gitonga, who hails from Laikipia County, said they are happy with the handshake between Mr Kenyatta and Mr Odinga, saying it has united the nation.