Nyeri Catholic Diocese Archbishop Anthony Muheria has faulted the government for allowing Public Service Vehicles (PSV) to resume carrying passengers at full capacity.
Addressing the press at the sidelines of the burial of Father Matthew Mwaniki at the Consolata Hospital Mathari on Wednesday, the cleric argued that the decision was arrived at hastily and at the wrong time owing to the surge in new Covid 19 infections.
He has therefore urged PSV operators to restrain from ferrying passengers at full capacity to avoid endangering the lives of their clients, saying this was the safest thing to do at the moment.
“The decision allowing Public Service Vehicles to resume carrying passengers at full capacity was ill-timed especially when the country is grappling with virulent strains of the Covid- 19 disease. We have lost many people to this pandemic with the month of August being the worst ever for us. I would therefore urge matatu operators not to be driven by the appetite for quick money and seriously rethink whether it is wise to crowd their vehicles with people during this time,’’ he argued.
Muheria who also doubles as the Inter-faith Council chair has also blamed political leaders for doing little in the fight against the Covid 19 pandemic. The disease has claimed 4,726 lives in the country since March last year.
The Bishop said instead of political leaders being at the forefront in the fight against the disease, the majority of them have turned to premature campaigns, where they attract mammoth crowds risking the lives of many Kenyans in the process.
He has also said majority of Kenyans have lowered their guards in observing the laid-out health protocols and turned into attending social gatherings like funerals and entertainment joints and in the due course putting their lives on the line.
“It is appalling at the recklessness we are currently witnessing in this country, where even those in leadership positions have thrown caution in the air and turned into early campaigning in the midst of a ravaging pandemic.
It is equally sad that the regulations that were issued out in regard to attendance of funerals where the number was restricted to below 200 persons has all but been forgotten. People are attending public gatherings and mingling freely at times without even wearing of face masks. This is utter recklessness which must be stopped,” he has stressed.
The cleric also confirmed the late father Mwaniki succumbed to the Covid-19 disease after being hospitalized for some time.
He has also disclosed that the Church is grappling with a high number of infections among its ministers who are battling the virus with 14 currently admitted in hospital.
Among those in hospital, three are currently in the High Dependence Unit while one is spending his 38th day in the Intensive Care Unit.
Muheria has also called for the respect for the sanctity of the church and said the Catholic Church will not allow leaders to use the pulpit to advance their political ambitions.
While welcoming politicians to be attending church services, the bishop has nevertheless said such invites will only be restricted to matters of worship and not politicking.
“We are not going to allow leaders to use our churches for politicking and pursuing their vested national interests. It is sacrilegious to allow people to turn our altars from being the places of worship and self-reflection to platforms for creating popularity. This we shall not allow as a church and those coming to our churches must do so for worship purposes only,” he affirmed.