Nairobi — Attorney General Justin Muturi has called for an urgent intervention by lawmakers to seal legal and enforcement loopholes blamed for the proliferation of dark doctrines that have seen masses brainwashed.
Muturi who appeared before the Senate ad-hoc committee on Wednesday told senators that the regularization of emerging churches has been an insurmountable task due to the “absolute law” in place.
“Parliament has a part to be blamed because we have an absolute law and obviously it’s my expectation that Parliamentarians in both houses have access to this law and have seen its weakness,” he said.
The Attorney General stated that the office of the Registrar of Societies has initiated a legislative proposal dubbed the Association Bill which is yet to go through public participation to address emerging challenges.
“We must accept that things have changed and we change this law. Help us to change the law because its not fit for purpose,” Muturi stated.
He told Senators that the current law has glaring loopholes in terms of monitoring and enforcement which has exposed the public to cultic organizations initially registered as religious units.
“The Registrar of Societies based in Nairobi one must be an angel to have a reasonable belief that something is happening in a bush in Shakhahola. In fact she wasn’t aware that the gentleman moved from Malindi to Mtwapa,” he noted.
Muturi made the comment even as Registrar of Societies Maria Goretti Nyaraki called for reforms to give her office a presense at the grassroots.
The issue of regularizing religious institutions has been met with stiff opposition and has always been an emotive subject as it borders on interfering with the freedom of worship.
In 2015, Former Attorney General Githu Muigai made proposals to regularize mushrooming churches but faced stiff opposition.
“There was a lot of animated debate and discussions about the proposals by the AG at the time and as a result the proposals never saw the light of day,” Muturi noted.
The AG observed that the government had moved in to act in the wake of mass deaths linked to Paul Mackenzie-led Good News International Church that preached starvation as the gateway to heaven.
The church together with Ezekiel Odero’s New Life Prayer Centre have been issued with show cause notices to which they are required to respond within thirty days.
“We took the liberty to send out cancellation notices to these churches because of the activities that have come to the fore. It is usually a thirty-day notice to show cause why they societies should not be deregistered,” said Nyaraki, the Registrar of Societies.
She said Odero’s New Life Prayer Centre has not filed returns since its registration in 2012 which is one of the requirements of the Societies Act of 1968.
“They haven’t compiled with the requirement of the societies act. No returns have been filed and therefore we have issued them with a notice to show cause on why they should not be de-registered,” Nyaraki stated.