A Nairobi based clergy has asked the government to help them in paying church rents after the closure of churches.
Bishop Hudson Ndeda of Bethel Christian Pentecostal Church in Nairobi says that the Church too has employees who earn from it and some churches are on rented premises while some pastors stay in rented residencies and have families to take care of.
“The government must now come up with a plan on how to take care of Clergies the way it is happening in the West where we are heavily borrowing our strategy from,” said the Clergy.
In a press release on April 14, Bishop Ndeda called on the State to allow Churches to operate so that people can cry to God from the altar and the God of the heavens and earth will heal the land.
“Yes people may be praying from their houses but there is importance of an altar which can not be taken lightly,” he said.
He added, “It is sad that this situation has caused the government to close Churches, but allow Matatus, Buses and the ferry to carry people daily,”.
Bishop Ndeda asked when the research was done that arrived at the misinformation that the coronavirus risk is very high in Church.
“Does it mean that in Church we can not exercise social distance rule like is in supermarkets and other public places?” he posed.
He observed that the government needed to consult widely with spiritual leaders before arriving at such a draconian decision of closing Churches.
“You can’t classify God or His Church with Clubs and bars, it is almost a mockery to God, this was not a well thought out idea and it will never be,” he said.
The Clergy called on the government to come out clearly and and help Kenyans during this hard economic period instead of pushing Kenyans to suffer of hunger and at the mercies of the landlords.
Ndeda affirmed that it is only the landlord’s income that has not been affected by the situation when everyone’s income has been affected.
“We have seen them demanding rent as usual and evicting defaulters, the government should issue directive to banks to postpone mortgage loans recovering then pass the benefits to Kenyans by either suspending rent for some months or reduce it by 50% as a matter of urgency,” he said.
He lauded kind Landlords who have waived rent totally or reduced it by 50 percent because majority Kenyans are suffering owing to the global pandemic.
Bishop Ndeda also prayed for the quick recovery for Kenyans who have tested positive of COVID-19.
“l also pray that God may cover and protect the rest of Kenyans even as we continue to heed to the government directive in exercising all measures put in place to combat the disease,” he said.
He added, “Above everything else we do, keep your hope alive, pray and believe in God,all this shall come to pass and we will return to normalcy soon,”.
Ndeda stated that while all Kenyans appreciate efforts made by the government to fight COVID-19 pandemic that has hit the world, there are also some issues of concern, many people have lost their jobs especially those in Juakali sector and small business which are not practical to work from home.
“Those in permanent and pensionable employment may be covered but soon it might not be practical because we don’t know how long this may take and some companies might go bankrupt because they may be not making profits any more, so the government should look for away of cushioning all of us,” observed the Clergy.
Bishop Ndeda noted that while the government adopts the formulae used by the West in handling the current situation, Kenyans must be considerate to their economy which cannot be compared to the West because they have cushioned their citizens very well especially in rent and food.
The Clergy also voiced his concerned in condemning the burial of a Kenyan male who was buried in Siaya county after he was allegedly died from coronavirus.
“It was the worst thing to happen, it would have been handled in a better way, let’s respect peoples cultures when it comes to burial,we need to bury our dead with dignity and give them last respect,” he observed.
He called on the government to supervise such burials by allowing families to do it as per their practice and traditions.
“Off course it can’t be done in a normal as it has been but something can be done in a summarized way to accord the deceased a decent burial not just being thrown into the grave just like an animal,” said Ndeda.