Ignorance the obscure enemy of religion? -FrMar-By CLAY MUGANDA-Posted Monday, July 30 2012 at 19:00-On many occasions, I am tempted to believe, though my religion exhorts me to ‘know’ and not ‘believe’, that nothing in Kenya happens gradually
, but suddenly, and we rightfully describe it as an ‘outbreak’.
At one time or the other, there is always an outbreak of something, be it road accidents as a result of an outbreak of arrant idiocy, deaths due to consumption of toxic alcoholic drinks, collapsing buildings, gender-based violence, defilement... you name it. There is always an outbreak of something in Kenya.
This is why we handle issues like musical hits (listened to and forgotten very fast) or newspaper stories (of late described as literature written in a hurry) with fleeting curiosity.
There has been an outbreak of evangelical ministries, with self-proclaimed pastors, brothers, apostles and bishops now a dime a bunch.
Tagging along, of course, is an outbreak of miracles and broadcast prayer sessions which not only promise wealth but also exhort viewers and the audience to donate to support the ministries in their mission to keep Jesus on the airwaves.
It is better to give than to receive, the self-proclaimed apostles, brothers, bishops and pastors invariably say, and blessed are those who give... and continue to give. They contradict themselves by despising worldly wealth yet their rants — I dare not call them sermons — are all about how the “blessed” will acquire “more wealth”.
But before we cast the first stone and accuse these fast-talking men and women, we need to have a re-look at their poor and vulnerable victims, the people who confess, either for a fee or because they are pathological liars and that is their way of contributing to the ministry, how they have been cured.
For the past several days, there has been an outbreak of discussions about some female victim of a fiery pastor, brother, apostle or bishop who refused to put his money where the young woman’s mouth was and, for that, he was exposed on national television, and subsequently got the publicity he did not pay for.
Some say that he paid for other services the victim offered, but the pillow talk of these strange bedfellows transformed into a business deal which later included other women. Without doubt, we declared the pastor, brother, apostle or bishop guilty, and his victim, who was a willing accomplice, became a child who was robbed of her innocence, a well-meaning mother who was taken advantage of yet her only crime was the need to feed her children.
Mwende, for that is the name she told us she answers to, admitted, while smoking like a chimney on national TV, that she is a prostitute (sex worker my foot!) who snared other prostitutes into business with the pastor, brother, apostle or bishop who later refused to pay her.
As it is, prostitution is largely illegal in Kenya, and what I failed to understand was why none of her interlocutors asked her if she knew that she was engaging in an illegal activity.
Spare me the hogwash about her being a prostitute because she is a single mother, a victim of another wayward man who just wanted to sow his wild oats. Yes, there are hopeless men out there, but there are also women out there who feed, clothe and educate their children without engaging in prostitution.
If it is true that Mwende has children (an excuse many wayward women use to justify their infractions) then they are in a difficult situation and should not be in her custody because she is not fit to be a parent.
Can you imagine the kind of ridicule those children faced after their mother declared on national TV? Has anyone imagined what those children are going through, or what they go through when their chain-smoking mother dumps them to go roam the streets and by-lanes?
She was getting money by false pretences and I do not need an investigative reporter to tell me that she was committing a crime; or that, by agreeing to the pastor’s, brother’s, apostle’s or bishop’s overtures and going out to bring more “desperate” women in to her circle of lies, she was a willing accomplice to a criminal act.
I do not hold brief for that fiery pastor, brother, apostle, bishop or his ministry, but the investigative reporters never said that he held a gun to this hopeless young woman’s head as she did all the things she says she did.
It is an open secret that a majority of these self-proclaimed pastors, brothers, apostles or bishops do not play with straight bats and should be brought to book, but sympathy is just but half-justice.
When we sympathise with this hapless woman, the ones she convinced, the others who came forward including the ex-wife and many more who commit such-like acts in other ministries, we are doing them great injustice.
This pastor, brother, apostle or bishop in the mouth-twisting saga and his female victim are partners in crime and both should be charged in a court of law for getting money through false pretences.