Editor's Review

The security measure came after some Kenyans vowed to occupy churches to protest the Finance Bill 2024.

The ACK Diocese of Nyahururu, Laikipia County, is currently under tight security as President William Ruto joins the faithful for the Sunday service. 

A contingent of police officers was deployed around the church before the president's arrival.

The move has widely been interpreted as the government's reaction to some Kenyans' threats to occupy churches in continued protest against the Finance Bill 2024. 

Faithful of ACK in Nyahururu being frisked on entry.

On Saturday, June 22, the citizenry, aggrieved by the bill's draconian taxation provisions, vowed to invade churches to register their anger with religious leaders for being quiet on such a critical matter.

Congregants making their entry to the venue in Nyahururu, including members of the clergy were subjected to thorough security searches before being allowed in.

The president, his deputy Rigathi Gachagua and other ranking state officials are attending service.

Ruto has been under sharp criticism by many Kenyans who accuse him of mismanaging the country and formulating policies that are exploitative to the citizenry. 

In the meantime, the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) instructed the places of worship to include the concerns about the Finance Bill 2024 in churches.

The council argued that with the churches having presented memoranda to the Finance and Planning Committee over the bill, it was prudent that they took the message of peace and justice to the pulpits.

A woman faithful of the ACK church bein frisked.

"NCCK welcomes you to use these sermon guides to share messages that promote peace, justice and dignified livelihoods, and resilient communities. Make your voice heard on the Finance Bill 2024," it told the churches.

The NCCK provided relevant verses from the Bible that the preachers could reference while addressing the bill's contentious issues.

Among them are Isaiah 35: 3-4 and Proverbs 24: 27.

In its communique, NCCK noted that the main purpose of the government and social structures is to provide hope and opportunities for the people to build their lives and be productive.

It noted that the bill, if enacted, would burden Kenyans and hamper manufacturing, among other crucial aspects that drive the country.

The security measure came after it emerged some Kenyans planned to invade churches to protest the Finance Bill 2024.

"Increase in taxes through Eco Levy will increase production costs, an increase of Excise Duties will make goods more expensive, an increase of transport costs by taxing petroleum more will make it unbearable for Kenyans," NCCK highlighted the areas the churches should tackle.

It went ahead to ask Parliament to reject the current Finance Bill 2024 and task the Treasury with drafting a new one focused on improving the welfare and livelihoods of the Kenyan people.

The bill has attracted uproar from Kenyans, with a huge section resorting to hit the streets to protest it.

On Thursday, June 20, a total of 204 lawmakers voted to pass the bill to the next stage, against 115 who opposed it.

Faithful of ACK Nyahururu being searched by security officers.

Being opposed in the unpopular bill are the taxation proposals borne in the bill, among other provisions believed to be draconian.