Makueni pastors want churches listed as essential services
Church heads in Makueni County want to be listed as providers of essential services in the fight against coronavirus.
The clergymen accused the government has sidelined them in major decisions which has reportedly made put them at the centre of criticism after churches were closed.
“We feel that the best way to fight the unseen enemy is through involving the church where there is God’s spiritual powers and subsequently through the medical professionals,” said Rev. Nicholas Kyule, the Makueni clergy spokesperson.
They also questioned why boda boda operators, hotels, shops, matatus, weddings among services and goods are available under certain limitations yet churches remain shut.
The church leaders from various denominations criticized the government for only investing in science and turning a blind eye on faith.
They said that it was unfair to close churches which offer essential services and insisted that they too can self-regulate and ensure social distancing as well as high levels of hygiene.
“Matatus are operating but with limited passengers, burials, taxis among others yet the church has been closed, why? The church is the best place for hope and resilience. Indeed a safe haven to the downtrodden and stricken by any calamity,” Rev. Kyule added.
The clergymen were adamant that they are ready to observe the laid down measures.
“We are ready to even have church services outside the churches at open fields. Increasing the number of church services and having fewer members per session especially on those who play key roles in the church,” he added.
The church also condemned excessive use of force by police while enforcing the nationwide curfew.
They claim that church leaders have also been on the receiving end of police brutality.
He claimed that pastors are getting ejected from their houses located at church compounds yet those are their homes.
“The objective of the curfew is to fight the spread of COVID-19 and not civil unrest. We are of the opinion that the church should have been listed as top essential service providers,” Kyule said.
Pastor Collins David warned that it was wrong to let people suffer at home in the night in fear of the curfew.
According to him, in most cases it is only pastors who have cars that can be used to take the ill to hospital.
“Pastors need letters of exemption during the curfew hours so that no pastor is arrested while attending prayers,” he said.