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Fearless Bishop Muge’s memories live 30 years on

Tuesday February 4 2020

Bishop Alexander Kipsang Muge

Bishop Alexander Kipsang Muge's mausoleum at St Mathew’s Cathedral in Eldoret on January 21, 2019. PHOTO | DENNIS LUBANGA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

WYCLIFF KIPSANG
By WYCLIFF KIPSANG
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DENNIS LUBANGA
By DENNIS LUBANGA
More by this Author

Standing tall off the Eldoret-Nakuru highway is a mausoleum at the Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) St Mathew’s Cathedral in honour of Alexander Kipsang Muge, the outspoken first bishop of ACK Eldoret Diocese.

Despite being involved in a mysterious road accident 30 years ago, memories of the cleric live on, with the faithful from far and wide still trooping to the church to pay their homage.

Muge, who is remembered for being an ardent critic of bad governance and champion of justice, died in unclear circumstances on the Eldoret-Busia highway in 1990.

The church buried Muge in its compound in honour of his relentless contribution to the church and the nation.

A visitor to the mausoleum is greeted by the portrait of the bishop on the wall holding the ceremonial stick he used to lead his flock.

MULTI-PARTYISM

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Engraved on his tomb are the words: let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever flowing stream -- Amos 5:24.

He is among people who came under fire from then-ruling Kanu government for championing multi-partyism.

The cleric never lived to see the fruits of his efforts though. Then-President Daniel arap Moi, in December 1991 at a Kanu delegates' meeting at Kasarani Stadium, repealed Section 2A of the Constitution thereby making Kenya a multi-party state. The change also introduced term limits to the presidency.

“He was a fearless cleric, who will forever be remembered for fighting for justice and fairness for all,” says retired ACK Eldoret Diocese Bishop Thomas Kogo.

Bishop Muge had a unique style of preaching the Gospel. He incorporated evangelism into development and education.

“This will increase the community’s capacity to plan and implement development projects,” he explained in one of his summons days before his death.

PERFORMER

To achieve his objective, he initiated Christian Community Services to oversee development activities in his diocese.

By the time of his death, Eldoret diocese was among the strongest dioceses in Kenya in terms of development and spiritual growth.

Bishop Muge, on August 14, 1990, set off on a journey from which he was never to come back alive.

Reports indicate that he had been warned by the then Minister for Labour Peter Habenga Okondo not to set foot in Busia. The cleric, however, ignored the ban and travelled to Busia.

While on his way back, he died in a road accident near Kipkaren in the then Uasin Gishu district.

The crash was, however, considered suspicious and was linked to his radical stance on many issues affecting the country. He died aged 44.

The church has renewed pressure on the government to establish the circumstances surrounding his death.

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