15 July 2019 | Politicians from the western Kenyan province of Nyamira were denied the opportunity to address mourners at the funeral of the former director of Stewardship and Church Development Activities at the East Kenya Union of the Adventist Church.

The funeral for Pastor Shem Ngoko took place on Friday, July 5, at Miriri in Nyamira County’s Kitutu Masaba Constituency.

The Standard Digital reports that the high-profile funeral was attended by members of Kenya’s elite, including Kenyan Chief Justice David Maraga, who himself is an Adventist.

According to rules set for the funeral, the only politician allowed to speak was the county’s Governor John Nyagarama.

Despite being told that they could not speak to those assembled, a number of politicians are said to have negotiated with the Executive Secretary for the church in the area, Thomas Nyakundi, who relaxed restrictions enough to allow the politicians to simply state their name to the mourners.

The Standard Digital reports that the politicians then ignored the restrictions and attempted to share longer remarks, causing Nyakundi to intervene and force them to stop speaking.

The Adventist Church both in Kenya and the wider world opposes political messages’ being shared from the pulpit.

In addition to Chief Justice David Maraga, the Standard Digital said that the funeral was attended by Governor John Nyagarama, former West Mugirango MP Benson Kegoro, retired Justice Samuel Bosire and Bungoma High Court Judge Stephen Riechi.

Justice Maraga described Ngoko as a spiritual hero and praised his work of furthering mission.

There are about a million Adventist members in Kenya.

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