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Methodist church backs renewed war on graft

Methodist Church in Kenya (MCK) has backed President Uhuru Kenyatta’s proposal that seeks to bar public servants from engaging in private business ventures terming the directive a turning point in the war against runway corruption.

MCK Presiding Bishop Rev. Joseph Ntombura on Sunday said the church was fully behind the president’s efforts to weed out corruption and asked other religious leaders in the country to offer necessary support to the government in its bid to rein in on graft.

Rev. Ntombura made the remarks on the sidelines of an installation service of Bishop Joshua Mithiko as the new bishop of Mombasa synod held at the MCK Wesley Church in Tononoka Mombasa County.

Last week the President directed the Attorney General to draft a Bill that will restrain all public servants from privately engaging in activities that are in conflict with or benefit from their offices.

“As a church we fully support the president in the ongoing effort to rid the country of corruption. It is commendable and we encourage the President and all the agencies involved in the war on graft not to relent,” said Rev. Ntombura.

Over the past months, the government has been accelerating the war on corruption and impunity, arresting senior government officials, business people and ordinary citizens linked to corruption deals.

While some of these deals are valued at billions of shillings stolen from government departments and ministries, the church insists more efforts are needed to suppress the vice that has threatened to cripple the economy and stifle development.

In 2017, Transparency International ranked Kenya in 143rd place out of 180 countries in its corruption index. Officials at the organization estimated that 30 per cent of resources for the procurement of goods and services were being stolen through corruption.

Rev. Ntombura also dismissed claims that the Methodist Church leadership was locked in a leadership tussle even as it emerged that it has different factions of leaders

The man of God who took over the Methodist leadership mantle in 2013 laughed off claims of wrangles in the church, saying the rumours are being peddled by a section of former leaders out to destabilize the church.

Rev. Ntombura accused a section of leaders of resorting to smear campaigns to destabilize the church and cast aspirations on his leadership abilities.

“It’s true there is a group of people that is determined to destabilize our leadership, but we are determined as a church to remain focused in serving the people of God,” said Rev. Ntombura.

In 2018 section of clerics including reverends from Nairobi Kobia Ataya, Misheck Kanake, Jeremiah Anondo, Jacob Gituma, Isaac Kaberia and Naftaly Mburugu had been holding rallies calling for Ntombura’s removal.

By Hussein Abdullahi

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