BISHOPS TRY COUP
Editor-- Steve Van Nattan-- Introduction: You will find this story nowhere else in the world. This is because the Kenya papers don't dare tell all the following details-- someone would die. And, I lived in Kenya and saw the things needed to write this story.
KENYA-- United Christian Churches of Kenya have lodged a court application to block Prof. Yash Pal Ghai from chairing the Commission and kickstarting the long-awaited constitutional reform-- a reform which the vast majority of Kenyans WANT.
Why did these bishops enter the political arena in order to stop constitutional reform? Is it because there is some peril to church life in Kenya from a new constitution? NO! In fact, Christian churches already have great power in Kenya politics since Kenya is heavily dominated socially by Christianity. If you want a seat in Parliament in Kenya, you better occupy a seat in church on Sunday.
So, why do the bishops of the Pentecostal Church, the African Inland Church, and many other church groups intend to tie up reform in court? Why this ecclesiastical filibuster?
Answer: President Daniel Arap Moi, and his top goons in the ruling Kenya African National Union, do not want constitutional reform. There are two main reasons for this:
Now, how did the churches of Kenya get solicited into this ruckus? Tribal blood runs thicker than the Blood of Jesus in these churches. Indeed, there is very little "Christian" about Kenya's church leaders.
President Moi and his Kalenjin tribal group, and the Kikuyu tribe, have had a powerful strangle hold on Kenya politics since Kanya's first (Kikuyu) President, Jomo Kanyatta, cut a deal with then Vice President Moi long ago. Then Vice President Moi convinced the Kikuyu tribal and KANU political leaders they could trust him by two acts:
Thus, Satan, Jomo Kanyatta, and the Kenya African National Union virtually bought Daniel Arap Moi's soul, and to this day, he rules the Kiambu and Eldoret Mafia with ease. Had he declined the Mau Mau oath, Moi would have been iced by Kanyatta. But, the plot thickens...
President Moi is also an active member of the African Inland Church "in good standing", and he has powerful connections placed at the top of that church. The AIC is by far the most powerful church association in Kenya, and where they go, the United Christian Churches of Kenya will follow.
The AIC KNEW that Daniel Arap Moi took the Mau Mau oath, but they looked the other way many years ago. Indeed, high placed AIC leaders (T.K.) took the oath WITH Moi at that time.
By overlooking Moi's oath taking, the AIC bishops realized that Moi would have to take good care of the church bishops and their vested interests up through the governmental power column. Since that oath taking long ago, both Moi and the African bishops have had each other by the tail-- Neither dares cross the other, and both NEED each other desperately. AIC et al make sure Moi wins every election, and Moi makes sure AIC rules Kenya's ecclesiastical life.
There is one other tribal matter which figures in heavily. The Kamba tribe have always been spoilers. They took the side of the British colonial power, along with the Luo tribe on Lake Victoria, during the Mau Mau uprising in the 1950s. After independence, the Kamba tribe was successfully bought off by both Kenyatta and Moi for favors in the top places of KANU power. Ah, but those Luo-- there is the rub. Misawa Omera!
Many years ago, when Kenya was under colonial rule, the Luo nationalist, Mr. Oginga Odinga, was a thorn in the side of all parties. He would irritate the British rulers and their lackeys in the then Legislative Council, and Odinga delighted in agitating the Kikuyu, Wakamba, and Kalenjin at every opportunity. Well, Odinga had his day in the new nation and Parliament, and his son, Raila Odinga of the National Development Party, today continues to scream for reform and democracy.
Raila Odinga is the main driving political force now pressing for constitutional reform, and everyone suspects he would like to see half of KANU party in prison for past crimes, but no one talks about this out loud :-) The stakes are high folks, and it is all based in at least one hundred year old tribal tensions.
I might add here that the Kikuyu tribe have always been famous for wheeling and dealing and getting someone else to work for them and make them rich, while the Luo tribe have been famous for slipping in where no one was noticing and taking charge. That is historic, and it is the engine driving the whole political scene in Kenya today. The Kikuyu are descended from ancient Bantu heritage, and the Luo are Nilotic and descended from the Nubians who once ruled Egypt. Ancient history is playing itself out here in a marvelous way.
The very same tribal tensions found between KANU and the NDP are found in the United Christian Churches of Kenya. The Luo are held at arm's length in church affairs, and the Luo, along with the Balouya along the north of Lake Victoria, have to fight to be included in church affairs, especially in the AIC. When the Luo do find a place in the higher places of Kenya church life, the Kikuyu and Kamba leaders work night and day to displace them.
There you have it. Moi is facing life in prison under present AND/OR new constitutional law, and he needs time to hammer out exemptions (or payoffs) for himself and his Kalenjin and Kikuyu Mafia. Prof. Yash Pal Ghai and Oginga Odinga are not dealing so far. Once there are guarantees of such exemptions, you will see the churches of Kenya graciously bow out of the political process and vacate their law suit.
Do the average membership of the Kenya churches have any vested interest in this high muckity muck trick. NO, and only a fool would assume that the average Christian in Kenya ever heard of this move or was consulted. Kenya church leaders are tribal thugs and power brokers of the most vicious and evil stripe. I know from experience that many ordinary Kanyans would love to have done with the old tribal intrigue in both church and national life. I would liken it to the struggle perpetuated by Jesse Jackson and the White Right elite in the USA-- Most Black Americans would be delighted to be done with this power struggle.
Now, to you Americans, Canadians, and other folks worldwide, Christians, Muslims, Jews, ANYBODY in any religion. When you think it is cute for your alleged religious leaders to enter the governing of your nation and rule the higher power, you are destined to a corrupt religious Mafia. Your life and civil rights will evaporate into thin air, and you will end up a slave of a handful of fat bishops, Brahmans, or Mullahs. Learn a lesson from Kenya.
Indeed, you will one day have religious war under this plan. Right now, two nuns of the incipient Roman Catholic Church are on trial in Brussels for helping kill many Hutus in Rwanda. They deserve to die for this crime if found guilty, but if the meddling Pope had reigned in his political animals around the world, these nuns would have stayed in their cloisters and minded their own business. Their policy is simply the outworking of Vatican policy since about 400 AD.
And, may I say, you heard it first here?