When Anglican cleric Henry Okullu wrote in the 1980s about church and politics, his thesis was that religious leaders cannot just serve the spiritual needs of their flock, but also their material ones.
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, clerics played a central in dismantling Kanu’s dictatorship as they joined other progressive forces in campaigning for the restoration of multiparty democracy.
Some religious leaders like Anglican Bishop Alexander Muge paid the ultimate price for their beliefs. At the same time, some religious leaders resorted to consorting with the ruling class in exchange for wealth.
When Kanu was finally routed in 2002 and a new political dispensation ushered in, a new realignment begun, and soon, some religious leaders, who have vocally criticised Kanu, openly went to bed with the new ruling class.
The turning point was during the referendum in 2005, when religious leaders abandoned their flock. Not only did they fail to give direction, they openly supported various political camps.
Matters came to ahead during last year’s General Election when religious leaders exhibited raw partisanship. They divided their followers.
This is the reason why we welcome the weekend’s admission by church leaders that they failed their followers.
Confession is the first step towards forgiveness, which is the cornerstone of the Christian faith. We are encouraged that the religious leaders have openly acknowledged their errors and committed themselves to lead in the healing and reconciliation process.