DP Ruto’s controversial Sh13 Million harambee turns pastors against each other, threatens to split church

Harambee was held last Saturday with DP Ruto donating Sh.13 Million

File image of DP Ruto presenting money at a past fundraiser in Kisii

Wrangles have emerged within the Seventh Day Adventist Church (SDA) over a harambee presided over by Deputy President William Ruto in which he donated Ksh 13 Million.

The fundraiser which was held on 30 March 2019 (last Saturday) at Gusii Stadium has put the South Kenya Conference on the spot for going against a long-held doctrine of keeping the Sabbath day holy that the church treasures and jealously guards.

Delving into the issue, Sammy Masara, an SDA elder told Nation that “We (the Church) are still numbed by this action because our stand is well known when it comes to conducting our affairs on Saturday.

“This is a day fully given to God. We cannot even negotiate for dowry on this day,” he added.

Masara held that the fundraiser grossly violated the doctrine of keeping the Sabbath day holy, pointing out that the example of Chief Justice David Maraga who explained during his vetting for the position that he would never handle a court case on a Saturday. 

“I think the Chief Justice summed it all. It is beyond our understanding when church elders hold a harambee on our sacred day. We are still waiting to hear why they went against the very basis of our faith,” Masara stated. 

During his vetting for the CJ position, Maraga told the vetting panel that “It would be very difficult for me to sit on a Saturday to hear a case. I would rather talk with my colleagues in the court to exempt me from sitting, if the hearing extends to a Saturday”.

Controversial gifts to the church

This is the second time that DP Ruto’s gift to the church is sparking controversy. During the installation of Kisumu Archbishop Philip Anyolo, the DP gifted him with a Mitsubishi Pajero 2012 model that would be the subject of controversy with the DP and opposition boss Raila Odinga clashing.

Raila alleged that the Pope had ordered the bishop to return the gift to the DP, claiming that it was bought from proceeds of crime.

This saw the DP take to Twitter writing: “The master of deceit as always is spewing desperate lies. The car gift was bought by Christian leaders including UK and myself at the request of the chair of Catholic MPs. Understandably Empowering the church offends magicians and the evil spirits they worship. Shetani ashindwe!” 

Archbishop Anyolo cleared the air, disclosing that he had donated the vehicle to another institution that would benefit from it as he was already comfortable with the vehicle he had.

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