Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) Rt Bishop Paul Korir of Kapsabet Diocese has stirred a hornet’s nest with a surprise criticism of how Nandi County Assembly Clerk Barnabas Koskei was suspended in what has now sparked a row among the locals and politicians.
While the ACK Bishop say he will no longer keep quiet about political, social and economic issues affecting the region, a group of local leaders and residents say it was wrong for the church to attack the politicians over alleged poor development in the area.
Last week’s attack on Nandi County Assembly Speaker by Kapsabet Diocese Bishop brought back memories of the 1980s and 90s when the church gave political leaders sleepless nights with frequent criticism.
During their heyday, church leaders of yore, the likes of ACK Bishops Alexander Kipsang Muge, Henry Okullu and Manases Kuria, became a thorn in the flesh for the Kanu government. Before the introduction of multi-party politics, the church leaders issued hard hitting statements as they kept watch on the government.
Then there was a lull, especially after Kanu lost power in 2002. But last week, ACK Bishop emerged from the comfort zone with a stinging attack on the political leadership in the region, warning that it would not be business as usual.
Bishop Korir said political leaders must take responsibility for the slow-pace development and demanded the immediate reinstatement of the county assembly clerk without further delay.
“What greatest sin did the clerk commit that he’s home for over a year now? We are putting the Speaker on notice, to reinstate him. We are running out of patience,” said Bishop Korir.
“The church will stand for truth and justice, day and night. Delayed justice is justice denied,” added Bishop Korir.
The Bishop said he will not be cowed against talking politics of development aimed at transforming lives and the people’s welfare. But this statement has now stoked controversy.