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Stop sanitising graft proceeds in church harambees: Sapit

Tuesday April 23 2019

Jackson ole Sapit 

Jackson ole Sapit, Archbishop of the Anglican church of Kenya, during a press conference on the role of church in the anti-graft war, at Serena Hotel in Nairobi on April 23, 2019. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

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Kenyan churches should end the "hype" with which they accept donations from politicians, a senior religious leader in the national anti-corruption taskforce has said.

Archbishop Jackson ole Sapit, of the Anglican Church of Kenya, on Tuesday said the church should "learn to worship God with its resources, quietly".

There have been concerns about churches receiving money said to be proceeds of corruption and money laundering during fundraisers.


Archbishop Sapit said: "Let us not hype this thing of harambees and guests of honour because that is where, as the church, we go wrong.

At Serena Hotel in Nairobi after a meeting of the Multisectoral Initiative Against Corruption (MSIAC), he added, “If you are to come to worship, come with your resources. And let us, as the church, also learn to mobilise resources for our development agenda and do it quietly, not with the hype that takes us off the pulpit. Let us not allow harambee money to become a subtle way of sanitising corrupt leaders.”


Mr Sapit said the Anglican Church will also rethink the matter of letting politicians hold fundraisers in sanctuaries.

These functions should be held outside church buildings, he said.


The archbishop’s remarks came a day after an ACK bishop slammed leaders who have been castigating churches for accepting donations from politicians.

Bishop Timothy Gichere of the ACK Mt Kenya Central Diocese said they would continue receiving the money until the courts declared the politicians corrupt.

“When leaders come to church and contribute money with clean hearts, we can’t decline because we are not in a position to know if the money is from corruption," he said at the Murang’a GK Prison on Sunday.

"We are not there to rebuke and label people as corrupt because that is the obligation of the courts. Let the judicial process go on without the politicisation of the war on graft so the culprits are arrested and charged."


But during the Tuesday media address, Archbishop Sapit emphasised the war against corruption and checks on Kenya's public debt, which he said have continued to impoverish citizens.

He said the theft of public funds that has permeated all levels of government should be dealt with once and for all.

The archbishop added that state institutions fighting corruption should neither be undermined nor neglected.

"We must say no to those undermining the institutions and putting up blockades in the war on corruption. We must tell them firmly that corruption is sinful and that God sees through their evil plans and actions," he said.


The MSIAC brings together representatives from the media, private sector, academia, public transport, trade unions, government, religious institutions and the development sector.

Present at Tuesday’s briefing by the archbishop were Mr Lee Karuri of Kenya Professional Sector Alliance, Nation Media Group chairman Wilfred Kiboro and Pacific Group of Companies chair Mr Karanja Kabage.

Also present was Mrs Irene Wanyoike, chairperson of the Association of Professional Societies in East Africa.