Rev Lucy Wangunjiri of Prayers Beyond Boundaries Ministries is the preacher who fought with Raila Odinga over Uhuru Park grounds on Madaraka Day. She spoke to SDE and revealed why she’s not after money and how Uhuru would come to her rescue if things got thick.
Why did you start a church in Nairobi when there are countless others already ?
It is a long story. I have had that argument that Prayers Beyond Boundaries (PBB) is my way of making money. But I can’t fail to fulfill that which God put in me because of criticism. If you are afraid of criticism, you will die having achieved nothing.
But let me tell you this, I am not after money. I don’t force anyone to give towards God’s work. PBB will outlive me. It will continue long after I am gone from this earth.
Are you an ordained minister?
Yes. I have a Bible and Theology degree from Pan African Christian University. I got ordained the same week I graduated.
There was the argument that your church was cobbled up last minute just to frustrate the Opposition from using Uhuru Park during Madaraka Day in June?
PBB Ministries was registered in August 2006. We have fellowshipped for a decade now. PBB was God’s vision because we (my listeners and I) had regular prayer meetings at St Andrews PCEA Church until 2005, when one evening we were blocked from ever using the venue again.
With a small crowd of just over 30 people, we started a congregation; first pitching a small tent on Kiambu Road. Within a month, we grew to a size that the tent could not accommodate and moved to Jamhuri High School grounds. We needed a more permanent place and that is how we scouted for our current location at City Primary School.
So what was the deal with the Madaraka Day standoff?
I have explained this before. I had booked and paid Sh150,000 to use Uhuru Park grounds on June 1, 2016. The records are with the Nairobi City County.
What exactly was so special for your church to book Uhuru Park for that and not any other day?
I chose the date because it had been announced that the president would be going to Nakuru. It was a holiday and people would be free. I needed to have as many people as possible come worship with me. I repeat, my aim was not to block Raila and Cord. God knows that I pray for all Kenyan leaders including Raila. The first time Raila ever set foot in Central Kenya, I had organised a prayer meeting and he was my chief guest.
What convinced you to let go of Uhuru Park?
When things got out of hand and politics took centre stage, I decided to accept whatever decision the Governor of Nairobi would make. He ruled in favour of Cord and I accepted. That said, I was also prepared to cancel the meeting because I was afraid politicians would take over. It would have been difficult to keep them from getting hold of the mic.
There were claims of corruption about how you got the City Primary School grounds?
PBB needed a more permanent place. I got advice from other preachers that I could formally ask to be allowed to use the open grounds at the school. I went through the school administration, who after listening to my request, wrote a recommendation letter. I later submitted this letter as part of my application to Governor Evans Kidero’s office. I was given the grounds under three conditions: that I pray with the kids, help educate the kids and fence the school. I have done exactly that. I was shocked to read in the news that I was being accused of bribing the governor with Sh20 million.
Have you ever given the governor any money?
I paid the county government Sh100,000, which is a fee that as a church we had to pay. I have never given Kidero even a coin.
So, you have never even met him?
I have visited him in his office. I have met him face to face. He has invited me to his office but I asked him to come meet me at the church grounds. He came and told me that the county government cancelled all meetings during national holidays and asked me to pick a day that is not a national holiday if I want to hold prayers. He has also invited me over when he lost his father and I even preached during the service at his home.
There is no financial exchange to have ever taken place between the governor and you?
None. If I have never asked the president, who is closer to me than Kidero, why would I ask Kidero for money?
You are that close to the president?
He is a man of the people. He was my friend, listening to me on Kameme FM. I have hosted a gospel show with a huge following, on Kameme FM for 16 years now. We no longer talk as much as we did. We have sat and eaten nyama together. I know if I was to go to him and tell him kimeumana, he would help me out. But I depend on God for help.