The head of the Catholic Church in Kenya Cardinal John Njue rubbished claims by ODM Leader Raila Odinga that the Pope has ordered DP Ruto’s car gift returned.
According to media reports, Njue said that he was not aware of the Pope’s directive.
“I am not aware of how the comments came about. I don’t know about claims that the Holy Pope directed the Church to return the gift,” he said.
DP Ruto gifted a Pajero 2012 model to the newly installed Archbishop of Kisumu Philip Anyolo in January.
The Archbishop was recently quoted in the media saying he had donated the vehicle to an institution which ‘would benefit from it more than he would’.
However, in what seems like a turnaround, the Archbishop now says the Catholic Church has channels of communication, adding that so far, they were not aware of the claims on the Pope’s directive (to return the car).
“We have not received such a communication that we return the car. However, I wish to state that during my installation in January, I received two cars, but they don’t personally belong to me. They are property of the diocese,” the archbishop said.
He noted that he has been using a Toyota V8 bought by Catholic faithfuls and had not used the one given by the DP “as it has not been registered.”
Last week, Ruto and Odinga engaged in war of words with Odinga saying that the Pope had ordered the car returned, due to the questionable source of funds used to purchase it.
Odinga had advised the church not to accept gifts from people who are “known to have stolen from taxpayers”.
“Recently, during the installation of Archbishop of Catholic Diocese of Kisumu, someone took a vehicle to the bishop as a gift. When the Pope was informed that the Bishop had received a car gift, he ordered that the vehicle be returned. “And true to his instructions, the car was returned because it was acquired from proceeds of corruption,” Odinga said.
Ruto on the other hand responded, accusing Odinga of peddling lies, to the point of rebuking him as satan.
“The master of deceit as always is spewing desperate lies. The car gift was bought by Christian leaders including UK and myself at the request of the chair of Catholic MPs. Understandably empowering the church offends magicians and the evil spirits they worship. Shetani ashindwe (devil be defeated)!,” Ruto tweeted on Sunday.
The Catholic Church clarified that they dont have a mechanism to ascertain the money used to buy gifts that they receive.
The Catholic Church — “and any other church I believe” — had no mechanism to establish that certain gifts are proceeds of corruption. “Therefore, it is not an easy task to establish so and act,” Archbishop Anyolo said.
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