Religious leaders in the North Rift have condemned politicians’ habit of advancing their political campaigns in funerals, saying it is disrespectful to the bereaved.
The clergy now want the national assembly and senate to draft and pass a Bill that will bar politicians from taking advantage of funeral events to campaign and hurl insults to their rivals.
Led by North Rift Council of Imam and Preachers of Kenya (CIPK) Chairperson Sheik Abubakar Bin, and Eldoret diocese bishop Cornelius Korir the men of the cloth said funerals should be a specific time for bereaved family members to send a befitting send off to their kin.
“Politicians need to portray sanity at all times which includes having respect and being sensitive to the families that have lost their beloved ones but they have failed in this line. We are calling upon the legislators to consider establishing a law that will stop politicking in funerals,” said Bin.
Bin observed that politicians are fond of taking burials ‘hostage’ by throwing insults at their counterparts, destructing the image of events that are expected to be calmly conducted further inflicting sorrow to the bereaved.
Bin added that religious leaders that will conduct the burial event of slain businessman Jacob Juma in Bungoma today (Saturday) should advise politicians against turning the event into a political arena and give the family an ample time to pay last respect to their kinsman.
“We are aware of a section of leaders who get excited when given an opportunity to address the mourners, whatever comes from their mouths is contemptible to the congregation who are already laden with grief of losing a loved one, this should henceforth stop,” explained Bin.
Bishop Korir reiterated that it is against African customs to trade accusations and politick instead of condoling with the mourners.
“Our leaders should desist from such utterances and follow the set program because their sentiments might lead to divisions,” said Korir.
Similar sentiments were expressed Uasin Gishu county gospel ministers Chairperson Bishop Wilson Kuruiwho cautioned politicians against disrespecting the church leaders and urged them to honour wishes made by the family.
“Most times we have witnessed politicians going against the wishes of the family who often make it public that they don’t want burial services of their deceased kin should not be mingled with politics which is very insensitive,” he explained.
He further called on the National Cohesion and Integration Commission led by Francis Ole Kaparo to tighten its watch and bring those fanning hate messages in public functions and funerals to book.