Oscar Sudi and allies splash millions in church fundraisers amid economic hardships

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Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi. (Courtesy)

Amidst the tough economic times, Messrs Moneybags are emerging and splashing millions of cash on weekends and at times on Fridays. The politicians, most of them allies of President William Ruto, have not been sparing any opportunity to donate colossal amounts of cash to churches. The youthful MPs are not always quick to explain their source of wealth.

Some Cabinet Secretaries have also joined the bandwagon of generous contributions. They fly across Rift Valley, Central Kenya, and the Western region with colossal amounts of money, and are contributing generously to churches in the wake of tough economic times.

Led by Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi, the politicians who claim to have been mentored by the Head of State are the latest Messrs Moneybags.

Sudi, who is associated with the classy Timba XO Club in Eldoret which was launched just weeks ago, has splashed over Sh15 million in church harambees in the last one month. He gave Sh2 million hard cash in a church harambee on Sunday.

When they are not faulting Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua’s push for Mt Kenya unity, they are competing on who contributes the most to churches.

Sudi who has served as Kapseret MP since 2013, says he is following in the footsteps of President Ruto, his political mentor. In one weekend early this month, Sudi alone reportedly contributed Sh4 million in two fundraising events – one in Kapsabet, Nandi County, and another in Kericho.

He has earned the nickname Engineer for his crafty ways of creating wealth. Sudi detests kingereza mingi (a lot of English) and has often insisted during fundraising events that “You can’t eat big English.” He has also maintained: “Mimi siendangi Bunge. Mimi ni mkarabati; naende Tanzania na kwingine kufanya ukarabati, that is why mimi naitwa Engineer.”

In Kapsabet, Sudi donated Sh2 million to Holy Family Catholic Church Ngenybokurio on Sunday, just days after he was let off the hook in an academic forgery case.

He arrived in Kapsabet in a convoy of more than 20 top-of-the-range vehicles, and in the company of leaders he described as his close friends.

Among the leaders who accompanied the MP to Kapsabet were Mumias East MP Peter Salasya, Josses Lelmengit (Emgwen), Abraham Kirwa (Mosop), among others.

“Give and it will be given to you (Luke 6:38),” Sudi said in the Kapsabet event. His friends filled a basket with Sh4 million cash money. He also brought Sh1 million from President Ruto. During the same weekend, he contributed Sh1 million to a women’s Sacco in Bomet.

He is out asking critics to stop questioning the source of his wealth and why he contributes to build churches.

Sudi, who recently opened an exclusive night club off the Nairobi road in Eldoret, said he was giving to the church, an institution he says had nurtured him since his days in Sunday School as a child.

“William Ruto infected me with generosity and I am following in his footsteps because he is now in the biggest office in Kenya and has limited time to attend and contribute to church fundraising,” Sudi said.

Last Sunday, the MP donated Sh2 million to build an African Inland Church (AIC) in Kipkorgot, Ainabkoi constituency in Uasin Gishu.

Sudi further gave Sh2 million, which he said was from President Ruto, and another Sh1 million from the Leader of the Majority in the National Assembly Kimani Ichung’wah.

He said during the event he must continue donating his money to church projects. He said he would still take part in raising the Sh33 million needed to complete a church project in Kipkorgot.

“When I contested for MP for the first time in 2012, did you hear anyone saying I had no money? Did anyone tell you that I was begging for fuel? I didn’t because I had made money. I have brought money from Kimani Ichung’wa and many other leaders to this function,” he said during the fundraiser.

Sudi went on to say: “If there is anybody’s money I have taken and brought to church, please forgive me. Don’t be bothered by my generosity. I am only sharing the little I have. Many people who had accumulated immense wealth have died and left their cash behind.”

Roads and Transport Cabinet Secretary (CS) Kipchumba Murkomen has also been contributing colossal amounts to churches.

Like Sudi, Murkomen says he was raised in the church and that his father is a cleric.

In April, CS Murkomen donated Sh1 million while Sudi donated Sh3 million at Kapcherop Catholic Church in Marakwet East.

On May 12, CS Murkomen gave Sh1 million to Sangach AIC Church and Ichung’wah gave a similar amount. Sh1 million was said to have been sent by President Ruto.

A young lawyer who was introduced as a State House employee gave Sh3.1 million in a fundraiser in Marakwet West.

Salasya was captured in a video claiming Sudi was taking good care of him.

Kapseret residents say Sudi’s generosity has helped poor Kenyans meet their financial needs, apart from church buildings.

Benjamin Letting defended the MP’s generous donations, saying Sudi believes in Biblical giving, which guarantees bigger returns.

“Recently, Sudi helped to raise Sh8 million needed to support a cancer patient in Cheptiret (in Kesses constituency). He has a big heart. He didn’t help the cancer patient because he wanted to gain popularity, but did it because he empathised with the patient,” Leting said.

He said Sudi has made good use of the National Government Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) to develop Kapseret.

A section of locals, however, said ‘the source of Sudi’s wealth should be probed’. Duncan Sanchez said the MP should not use his money to underrate other leaders from the region and beyond.  “He should use the money to upgrade schools in Kapseret. Some schools in Kapseret have poor toilets,” said Sanchez.

Jeremiah Sawe, a UDA grassroots leader, told Sudi to use the money he is splashing in fundraising to help many unemployed youth in Kapseret secure jobs. 

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