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Stop using State House for religious meet-ups, atheists tell Rachel Ruto

By Sylvania Ambani September 15th, 2022 3 min read

The Atheists community in Kenya now want First Lady Rachel Ruto to stop using State House as a place of religious meet ups.

The President of Atheists in Kenya Society, Harrison Mumia, in a statement on Thursday said that State House is the official residence of the president and should be used for state functions and not religious functions.

Mr Mumia insists that any religious function by the first family should be conducted in their private residence.

“It is unacceptable for First Lady Rachel Ruto to host Prophet Dr Ian Ndlovu and Prophet Victor Kusi Boateng at State House Nairobi barely a day after the inauguration of President William Ruto. The Atheists in Kenya Society considers this a cynical abuse of religious freedoms by the first lady of the republic of Kenya,” Mr Mumia said.

Also read: Rachel Ruto hosts Zimbabwean pastor who prophesied William Ruto’s victory

“Rachel Ruto is effectively transforming State House into a religious playfield. This goes against Articles 8 and 32 of our Constitution. We would like to caution the First Lady to desist from these flagrant abuses of religious freedom. Kenya is made up of citizens who hold different religious beliefs including Christians, Muslims, Hindus and atheists. First Lady Rachel Ruto should not assume that Christianity is the only religion in Kenya,” he said.

After the Supreme Court of Kenya upheld President William Ruto’s win in the just concluded general elections, the society issued a statement requesting the Head of State to promote secularism in his administration.

They claimed that both believers and atheists have important roles to play in building a democratic, pluralistic and inclusive Kenyan society.

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“The Atheists in Kenya Society would like to congratulate H.E President-Elect William Samoei Ruto for being duly elected as President of Kenya. We would also like to thank our Supreme Court judges for safeguarding the will of the Kenyan people. The willingness of the judiciary to protect our constitution in the face of intense political pressure is a source of hope and inspiration,” Mr Mumia said.

“It is our hope that President William Ruto will promote secularism and freedom of religion as specified under Articles 8 and 32 of our Constitution during his term. Atheists should never face discrimination. We will vehemently oppose any attempt to privilege religious organizations and religious beliefs in Kenya,” he said.

The president and his wife have attributed their win to God. In fact, during Dr Ruto’s inauguration those who performed include Tanzanian gospel band Zabron who performed their famous song Mkono wa Bwana.

Also read: President Ruto breaks from tradition with uniquely designed presidential portrait

Later, they were among guests who were hosted by Mrs Ruto at State House. On Thursday, the First Lady also hosted another group of religious people including Prophet Dr Ian Ndlovu and Prophet Victor Kusi Boateng.

The atheist community is not the only group of individuals who have aired their opinions on the matter.

In a tweet, gospel minister and singer Reuben Kigame alleged that President Ruto’s administration of  is overdoing religion.

“I know I will be bashed but I need to be truthful and accountable to the nation. I think the Ruto administration is overdoing religion. While we acknowledge the hand of God in bringing us this far, the presidency must observe Article 27 of the constitution,” Mr Kigame said.

Kigame is among the aspirants whose bid to contest the presidency during the August polls were rejected by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).