How Religion, Gay Rights & Abortion Rights Decided The Victory Of William Ruto in Kenya: Razak Kojo Opoku Writes
According to a Political Analyst, Herman Manyora, “Christianity is a cover used by many leaders in the world to get power and when they get to power, things change”.
India and Pakistan were separated largely due to Religious differences. It seems practically impossible for a Christian or Hindu or Buddhist etc. to lead Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan and the Arab World/Muslims dominated Nations.
It is very difficult for a Muslim or Christian to lead China, Japan, North Korea, South Korea and majority of the Asia Countries where Buddhism and Hinduism are dominate Religions.
It is also difficult for a Muslim to lead United Kingdom, United States of America, Brazil and majority of European Countries except Turkey which is largely Muslims dominate.
In my candid opinion, Religion should NOT be a basis for electing or selecting leaders for Nations or Organizations. It should be about competencies to deliver. But unfortunately, majority of Countries around the world are finding it extremely difficult to change the narrative.
Kenya is a Christian dominant Country with:
1. 85. 5% Christians, comprising of;
(a). 33. 4% Protestant
(b). 20.6% Catholic
(c). 20.4% Evangelical Christians
(d). 7% African Instituted Churches
(e). 4.1% Other Christians
2. Islam is the second largest Religion in Kenya with a population of 10.9%.
3. Atheists are 1.6%
4. Hinduism people are 0.13%
5. Others/African Traditional Religion practitioners are 1.87%.
Uhuru Kenyatta-William Ruto was a Christian-Christian Ticket for the 2013 and 2017 Presidential elections.
In 2022, William Ruto-Rigathi Gachagua was also a Christian-Christian Ticket for the Presidential election.
William Ruto after Swearing into office today, 13th September 2022, would be the first Evangelical Christian to be elected as President of Kenya. His predecessor, Uhuru Kenyatta is a Catholic.
Raila Odinga has been struggling to become President of Kenya largely because of his public utterances against the Christian faith. Raila Odinga described “Christianity as brainwashing”. Odinga’s Wife during the Campaign continously stated that, the “government of her husband, Raila Odinga would be regulating Churches in Kenya”.
The aforementioned statements by Raila Odinga and his Wife worked against them because it seriously angered the Christian leaders in Kenya.
However, in the case of William Ruto, vast majority of Christians Community and Muslims community were behind him for the 2022 Presidential election.
The United Democratic Movement(UDM) made of Majority of Muslim leaders ditched Raila Odinga and threw their support for William Ruto, helping him to gain clear majority in Parliament.
The Muslim leaders of UDM supported William Ruto to obtain overwhelming majority in Parliament on a matter of principle. They share common agreement with William Ruto on strong position AGAINST legalization of gay rights and abortion rights in Kenya. Raila Odinga failed to strongly state his position on gay rights and abortion rights, he was somehow diplomatic about the subject matter and that worked against him.
Rigathi Gachagua, the Running-mate of William Ruto, and his wife, Dorcas Wanjiku Rigathi who is also a Pastor heavily campaign against Raila Odinga on Religious beliefs system in Kenya and it worked for them.
Unfortunately for Raila Odinga, his wife, Ida Odinga publicly stated that:
1. Odinga’s government shall disband all small Churches in Kenya.
2. They will make laws to limit Church contributions to KSh 100k.
3. It was wrong to give offerings to the Church.
These statements by Ida Odinga threatened the survival of the Christian leaders in Kenya even though they were pleasing to some Church members across Kenya.
Also during the era of Raila Odinga as the Prime Minister of Kenya, he tried to introduce a Bill to Parliament seeking to have Church donations banned, however it failed to achieve the passage of the Bill by Parliament.
According to Rigathi Gachagua,
1. “the Church will be under threat if Raila Odinga becomes President”
2. Under William Ruto’s government, “we shall let all Religions worship freely”.
3. “the body of Christ(Church of Christ) will be in danger if that man(Raila Odinga) unfortunately becomes the President”.
It is a public Knowledge about the faith of William Ruto and his wife, both very strong devoted Christians. Mr. William Ruto is fond of “praying, sobbing and quoting scriptures” during his public engagements. In fact, William Ruto was mocked as “Deputy Jesus” by the campaign team of Raila Odinga.
The strong Christian faith of William Ruto and his Wife is an evidence-based, the couple have built a Church/Chapel at their residence and this Chapel served as a prayer joint for most Christians living in his Community.
It is expected that, as usual and as it has been the practice in Kenya, the newly sworn in President of Kenya, William Ruto would be the “Leader of people from all faiths” in Kenya. He should be able to fully recognize the Muslim leaders of UDM even through Muslims only constitute 10.9% of the Kenyan population because without their small numbers he wouldn’t have been able to get outright winner in Parliament.
Concerned Voters Movement(CVM) of Ghana wishes him, William Ruto well as the new President of Kenya. A “Hustler” without godfatherism who was able to break the political dynasties of 59years established by the families of Kenyatta, Odinga and Moi in Kenya.
Lastly, moving forward, I think that, Raila Odinga should soften his stance against Christian beliefs system in Kenya, plead forgiveness and try again at the Presidency, maybe the Christian Community will vote for him or his Party in the next 5 years.
Entrenched Christian faith and Beliefs system is a very Serious Campaign Tool in Kenya’s politics and this has been one of the major obstacles to Raila Odinga’s ambition of becoming President in Kenya.
The critical criteria majority of Kenyans consider before electing a President for Kenya is the Christian Background and Beliefs of the Candidate. But I find this criteria very unfortunate and strange.
I honestly think that, Religion shouldn’t be the basis for electing or selecting people for leadership. But as to whether Kenyans will listen or not is a discussion for the future.
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