Garissa Township MP Aden Duale sat on a revivalist church pew in the United States as DP Ruto unloaded on “anti-christs”.
He abandoned the Europe leg of the tour and quietly sneaked back home.
Now there are reports that the Garissa Township MP is sulking, ostensibly to protest what he saw as William Ruto’s increased pivoting to anti-Islam Christian fundamentalists and extremists.
Kenya is constitutionally a multi-religious country. And because of the that, Kenya has no official state religion. Christians, Muslims and Hindus all worship freely, each to their own religious devices.
Under William Ruto, however, with a deeply religious spouse, posturing to ultra-right religious evangelicals of the United States, the same group that heavily moralized former US President Donald Trump, despite the man’s bigoted views on non-whites and immigrants, was never far off the table during his trip.
In the US tour, Ruto painted himself as the only “God fearing” candidate on the presidential ballot, and his UDA Party as the only safe haven for Christians in Kenya.
The bigotry inherent in those connotations shocked Duale to the core, per those who’ve interacted with the former Leader of Majority post the trip.
American evangelicals do not see eye-to-eye with the Islamic world. In their narrow world view, they believe in the conspiracy theories of post-1989 Abuja Declaration, where the Organization of Islamic Cooperation called for closer cooperation of Muslims across the world.
To these evangelical fundamentalists, muslims have an ulterior motive to “islamize” Africa, especially sub-saharan Africa, hence any political force which provided a bulwark against the muslims is allied for heavy financing. This comes with so much anti-islamic xenophobia, often openly dished raw in church gatherings.
William Ruto has been a along ally of US ultra-christian fundamentalist evangelicals. In 2010, the same group heavily funded his “NO Campaign”, hiding behind false claims that the draft constitution allowed “sharia law” under Kadhi’s courts.
If Duale is sulking, it is because he understands how Ruto’s hypocritical religious posturing is hurting him. Duale represents muslims, and he is a muslim. Swathes of northern Kenya are tilting their political support to Azimio, headed by Raila Odinga whom many Muslims see as a moderate political leader not suffering from anti-Islamic bigotries.
Raila also has the advantage of not playing his faith, even though he is a baptised Anglican.
Kenya is better off as a democracy, not a quasi-theocracy, with some Bible-welding politician ruling through his divine whims. Kenya is better off run in accordance with the constitution of Kenya, which already preambled with no state religion.
One indivisible people, religiously and denominationally diverse.
Will Duale walk away?