Clear evidence is now emerging that there are senior bishops within the Catholic church who do not agree with Cardinal John Njue on the issue of a devolved government usambazaji wa mamlaka and that the statement he read may not in fact be the view of the Catholic church in Kenya after all.
Archbishop Zacchaeus Okoth of Kisumu said on Sunday that as far as he is concerned the views stated by Njue are personal views. And he even gave a very good reason for his position. He said that there was no pastoral letter (the usual instrument used to state the church’s official position on any important matter.)
In fact the cardinal has put “jimbos” of the Catholic Church into some serious problems with his careless remarks and many of his colleagues are hard pressed on what to tell faithfuls, especially in regions that strongly support Majimbosim.
Cardinal-designate John Njue’s position calls for lots of wisdom and many times it is not wise to declare a personal stand on sensitive national issues when you know very well that they will affect some of your members and divide the faithfuls. Yet Njue went ahead and did just that, for reasons better known to him.
One wonders whether the cardinal has any advisors and if he does whether he gave them a hearing. This is because what may appear to be a minor issue could have a far-reaching impact. To start with it may now appear in certain circles that the Catholic Church in Kenya is split along tribal lines with Kikuyu leaders within the church rabidly against devolution while most non-Kikuyus appear to be strongly for it. If this is true, it could spell disaster for Kenyans who often look up to some of these churches for direction in issues that are not clear cut like this one.