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Ida Odinga issues public apology after church gaffe

"It has come to my realization that my comments haven't sat well with some members of the church," Mama Ida Odinga.

Mama Ida Odinga, wife to former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, speaks during a past function in Westlands, Nairobi

Mama Ida Odinga issued a public apology on Monday, January 31, 2022 after making remarks about the regulation of churches over the weekend.

In the statement released by the Ida Odinga Trust, she with drew her verbal request made to the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK).

Mama Ida had urged the NCCK to regulate churches in Kenya for there to be consistency and relevance in messaging.

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"It has come to my realization that my comments haven't sat well with some members of the church.

"I sincerely apologize for the discomfort caused as I meant no harm to any person," read the statement in part.

She also accused the media of blowing her remarks about training of preachers out of context.

"We want Kenyans to subscribe to religions that are formally registered and not those whose belief systems are commodified. It is also important that we conduct training for all those who minister the word of God," the former prime minister's wife said over the weekend.

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In her statement on Monday, Mama Ida said she was communicating that training is a way to improve the delivery of the gospel.

"I also wish to state that my position on training of preachers was also blown out of context by the media reports circulating online.

"I reiterate that training only makes the service of preaching better and promotes the ministration of the word of God," she explained.

Ida reaffirmed that she was a committed believer in Jesus Christ, noting that preaching is a calling.

"This is a fact I have appreciated for a long time and I have sat and listened to many preachers eloquently and diligently deliver life changing sermons.

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"I remain dedicated to promoting the growth of the church space for a better society in Kenya," her statement concluded.

Mama Ida had attended the launch of a book by Archbishop Emeritus Habbakuk Onyango Abogno at at the Church of Christ in Kisumu County, when she made the controversial remarks.

Motion to regulate churches

In 2019, Kangema MP Muturi Kigano tabled a motion to regulate rogue Churches, demanding a draft bill from the Attorney General.

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The bill required religious leaders to be professionally trained amongst other rules in order to root out those who prey on their flock.

Kigano had stated that the bill was aimed at protecting the public from rogue religious leaders who have enriched themselves at the expense of their flock.

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