Cardinal John Njue has opened up on his relationship with President Uhuru Kenyatta noting that they enjoy mutual respect, but rarely talk or meet in person.
In an excerpt from his biography Feeling with the Church: Cardinal Njue’s Long Service in the Catholic Church, Cardinal Njue notes that he cannot call the president’s personal line or appear alone with him in public.
According to him, this may be misinterpreted to mean an endorsement or support for a particular political affiliation, yet he is an independent party.
Njue explained that when he needs to talk to the resident, he uses the formal channels and goes through his secretary, adding that he only meets the Head of State in the company of other clergy members.
“No, I don’t (have the President’s number). But when I need to call him I go through his office and his secretary,” the biography read in part.
According to the Cardinal, the decision was influenced by his experience in 2007 where a photo of him and then President Mwai Kibaki created an impression that he had endorsed the latter’s bid.
He notes that the photo created tension among his fellow clergy with some accusing him of bias since he did not have a photo with former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
“Many people therefore associated the cardinal with the President…Some of his clergymen accused him of openly taking sides at a time when the country was dangerously polarised," the biography reads in part.