How will self-regulation of churches look like?

We posed this question to Rev. Canon Chris Kinyanjui, the General Secretary of NCCK at yesterday’s press briefing at Ufungamano House. In his response, Rev. Kinyanjui revealed that some members of NCCK, EAK, KCCB, Supkem and other religious groups will sit in the committee proposed by President Ruto to help formulate a self-regulation mechanism of religious bodies.

“We can’t say what that future legal framework will look like,” said Rev. Kinyanjui in the presser. “Churches and religious bodies are regulated under the societies act. It’s that framework that we want to improve and align it to article 32 of the constitution.”

The Canon added that the self-regulation models to be adopted will be a result of an extensive consultation because there are different faiths and the numbers are many.

“We need to be able to hold each other to account when somebody crosses the line and there are discipline issues. This is something that happens in other professions and we believe that time has come for us to align ourselves to those kinds of frameworks.”

President William Ruto said that he will form a task team in conjunction with the clergy to help formulate a self-regulation mechanism to root out fraudulent religious leaders seeking to “abuse religion” for personal gain.

In a gazette notice dated May 5, President Ruto announced that Reverend Mutava Musyimi will chair the 17-member taskforce which will be operational for the next six months. They will review legal and regulatory frameworks governing religious organizations in Kenya.

Bishop Mark Kariuki, Bishop (Dr.) Eli Rop, Archbishop Maurice Muhatia, Judy Thongori, Rev (Dr.) Alphonse Kanga, Bishop Philip Kitoto and Dr. Faridun Abdalla will sit on the committee as members.

Here’s a video to part of the presser:


During the briefing, the clergy from NCCK, KCCB and Supkem said that they want to get to the bottom of the matter together with the state and eventually ask themselves; ‘how do we prevent this from happening again?’

They raised concern with the security officials for sleeping on job.

Their statement read: “We have, like all Kenyans, followed with horror the continued unveiling of the reality of the Shakahola Massacre. What is of major concern to us is that the criminal activities carried out in the name of the Good News International Church have been going on for just over 20 years. Information publicly available shows that “Pastor” Paul Mackenzie has been arrested and treated casually on multiple occasions, but each time released to go and continue.”

“For this reason, we find that the narrative being driven that churches, and by extension, religion, need to be regulated is a façade meant to divert attention from the real problem, which is that the state has failed to play its role of dealing with crime.”

They called upon the government to expedite investigations and prosecute, not only Pastor Mackenzie and accomplices in his church, but also the state officers who have over the years facilitated him to engage in criminal activity through complicity or being compromised through bribery.


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