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Bishops protest church levies

13 February 2014, 09:26 Joseph Njunge’h

Nyeri - More than 300 bishops in Nyeri County marched in the streets on Wednesday protesting against the proposed County Finance Bill.

The men of cloth were protesting the introduction of taxes and levies in churches by the County government.

They marched to governor Nderitu Gachagua’s office at Advocates Plaza demanding to have a meeting with him over the Finance Bill and mostly on the clause proposing tax on churches.

They said the imposed tax would curtail their ministry stating that the church should not be commercialized by being categorized as business entities.

Led by their chairman, Reverend Charles Muchiri, the representation of over 1200 churches in the County lamented that a levy of KES 10 000 per day for crusades was too much for them.

They said the move would restrain them from doing the job they were called to do.

Muchiri stated that the churches are not against taxes, but said taxes should not be at the expense of the church.

“The services rendered by the church to the people are free and such a high tax will greatly affect the spreading of the gospel,” said Rev Muchiri.

The group was however unable to meet with the governor since was out of office but they were addressed by the County Finance executive, Martin Wamwea.

Wamwea promised to send a memo to the County assembly finance committee with the bishops’ input on the Bill, and pledged to give feedback in seven days.

Wamwea added that another memo will be forwarded to the governor alongside the Bill before it is signed into law so that it can be taken back to the assembly for amendment.

The bishops later marched to the County assembly where they urged assembly members not to pass the Bill with the anomalies.

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