Kenya Kwanza MPs take off from angry protesters in Nyahururu

Several Kenya Kwanza Members of Parliament and leaders who accompanied President William Ruto to a church function at Ndururi Primary School in Nyahururu town on Sunday fled the venue to avoid a confrontation with protesters.

The leaders sneaked out of the venue to avoid a confrontation with the youths camping outside the school.

President Ruto, his deputy Rigathi Gachagua and Kenya Kwanza luminaries had attended the consecration of ACK’s third bishop, Major Samson Mburu.

The leaders, who were caught off guard, were seen running in all directions as they tried to locate their cars, forcing some of them to jump into any available vehicle.

They were left confused after the presidential escort team hurriedly whisked the President away when they realised the protesters were at the gates waiting for the President and his team.

The President was just about to leave when the youths started shouting ‘Ruto Must Go’ and ‘Reject the Finance Bill’.

The peaceful demonstrators were armed with Kenyan flags and placards denouncing the Finance Bill and the President.

At one point, the chanting protesters overpowered the police to gain access to the school playground as they sought an audience with the Head of State, but the President, who was very brief in his address to the church, slipped out of the venue in the confusion.

Earlier on Sunday, Anglican Church of Kenya Archbishop (ACK) Jackson Ole Sapit won the battle to stop politics in the church by barring more than 20 politicians who accompanied President Ruto to a church ceremony in Nyahururu from addressing the congregation.

Ruto and his deputy Gachagua kept off politics in their speeches. President Ruto only acknowledged the youth for coming out to protest against the Finance Bill 2024.

He said he was proud of them and concerned about the issues they raised, adding that he would have a discussion with them.

Remain peaceful

He said the Finance Bill will address the challenges of the youth by channelling funds to the Constituency Development Fund for bursaries and higher education funding.

“I am proud of the youth and the decision they have taken to ensure that their grievances are addressed. But we must remain a peaceful country. The issues raised by the youth will be fully addressed,” said the President.

President Ruto said his administration will continue to work with the church because of the critical role it plays in the country.

“My administration will continue to work with the church because we recognise the critical role that the church and its leadership play in the development agenda,” he added.

Employ 20,000 teachers

He also revealed that the government will employ 20,000 teachers in the next financial year and those employed on contract will be absorbed on permanent and pensionable terms.

Mr Gachagua also backed the ACK leadership’s decision to reject politics in church.

He said politicians had abused the goodwill and used the church forum to play divisive politics.

“I agree with the leaders that the church should not be used for politics. If you want to do politics, let’s have our meetings in stadiums and on the streets, mobilise the youth and say the things we want to say there and not in churches,” Mr Gachagua said.

Gachagua said Archbishop Jackson Ole Sapit had warned that no politician would address the congregation, adding that he had to sweet-talk him into allowing him and the President to address the church.

Commenting on the ongoing nationwide protests against the Finance Bill, Archbishop Sapit said: “What is happening is unpredictable, Generation Z are not enemies of the country, they have a right and a reason to protest. The police should refrain from using extra force against the Gen Z when they are protesting.”

“Let us listen to them, they are our children, we need a solution to what they are asking and seeking,” he added.

He drew laughter when he said his son was among the youths who protested in Nairobi last week.

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