Embu Catholic Bishop Paul Kariuki last Sunday shocked the public when he publicly threw his weight behind DP William Ruto. Kenyans begun to question why the clergy is engaging politics and allowing politicians to turn the alter into political arenas. After public outrage, Bishop Kariuki now claims he was misunderstood on his remarks.
The bishop compared Deputy President William Ruto to a bee and his opponents to flies. Ruto was a productive honeybee, which flies off to far distances to seek raw materials to make honey while his rivals are houseflies that hover around filth, he said.
While speaking to journalists in his office at Embu Catholic cathedral on Tuesday, Kariuki said he was appreciating and encouraging Ruto to continue with his development tours around the country.
He said he called on his rivals to emulate him instead of fighting him.
The bishop said his example of a bee was not meant only for the Deputy President but for all Christians.
“And I gave the example of our Deputy President who goes round the country to see how government money is spent as well as identifying what needs to be done,” he said.
Kariuki expressed concern that there was a lot of infighting in the Jubilee government and urged leaders to unite and work for Kenyans despite their political differences.
“Jubilee government is a divided house that needs to be reminded that they were elected under one umbrella, hence the need to put their house in order to avoid criticism,” he said.
Further, the bishop urged leaders against engaging in early campaigns as this may divide Kenyans.
“If it is overdone, then it is not proper because in every movement there are expenses. The Deputy President does not move alone; he moves with a group of people,” he said.
The bishop reiterated his 2016 stand barring politicians from politicking in church, adding that the church should not be like a political rally.
“While we welcome politicians, because they are also our believers, they are welcome to come and worship like the other Christians and if the Christians are having any kind of fundraising or offering they also fully participate like any other Christian,” he said.
“Christians from all walks of life go to church with one intention of encountering God, therefore, the church is and still remains a house of prayer and not a political rally.”
Bishop Kariuki said the Sunday event was an annual celebration on the anniversary of the church, which is also used to support the diocese in its initiatives on self-reliance.
“After mass, we had contributions and we welcomed all those who had come to participate,” he said.
“You will agree with me that harambees have really helped. Schools that even became national schools were put up through harambee,” the bishop said.
He noted that if politicians were barred from participating in harambees then most public institutions would not be in existence.
“The philosophy of harambee is very good except when it is abused and contributions are given to influence people negatively,” he said.