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Clergy, leaders criticised at Muge’s widow funeral

Winstone Chiseremi @Wchiseremi

The clergy and politicians were yesterday put on the spot for abandoning Kenyans in pursuit of selfish interests. They were also accused of betraying rights defenders such as the late Anglican bishop Alexander Muge, who fought and died for democracy in the country.

Speaking during a requiem mass for Muge’s widow, Herma, at ACK St Mathew Cathedral in Eldoret, religious leaders from North Rift lamented that democracy and social justice were being sacrificed at the altar of greed.

Led by retired ACK Bishop Thomas Kogo, the clerics said the country was headed in the wrong direction unless the political class and the church leaders stand up and reclaim their respective roles.

“It is a pity to note that all the gains the late Bishop Muge made while fighting for social justice, good governance and democracy are being reversed by the political class and some selfish church leaders who have put their interest first before that of the ordinary citizens,” he said. Speakers at the mass given a wide berth by politicians also renewed demands for fresh investigations into Muge’s death.

They accused successive regimes of not doing much to ensure that the family gets justice for the late prelate’s death in a mysterious road accident. The outspoken cleric died 28 years ago while his wife, Herma, passed on last week.

Kogo said he had known Muge way back in 1977, when the two served in the General Service Unit before swapping the gun for the bible. Reformed Church of East African former secretary general Rev Joel Songok urged elected leaders as well as religious leaders to mind the welfare of the people they represent.

“Right now, most of the church leaders have abdicated their roles as spiritual leaders and focused more on pursuant of personal wealth. That is why many things are going astray in our country,’ he said. Songok eulogised Herma as a God-fearing woman, humble, and welcoming, adding that she was the force behind Muge’s crusade.

He called on the Church in partnership with the government to ensure the projects initiated by her late husband are completed. He cited various health facilities and schools in Uasin Gishu and Nandi counties as some that had stalled after the cleric’s demise.

The couple had four children, Esther, Andrew, Amon and Elizabeth Muge. Elizabeth described their mother as humble and loving, one who interacted with all irrespective of ethnic backgrounds and religious affiliation. She thanked all those who had stood with the family following the death of her mother. “Thank you for prayers, the advice and love you gave us.

The virtue you taught us will continue to guide our lives,” she said. On her father’s death, Esther said: “He was a pillar to our family. We are still crying for justice to be told what killed him.”

Former minister John Sambu and veteran lawyer Paul Birech attended the requiem mass. The memorial service was presided over by the church provost Bernard Kosgey. Herma will be buried at Kimng’oror village in Mosop, Nandi county.

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