Dr Felix Kioli, a sociologist at Maseno University, attributes Prophet David Owuor’s massive following to charisma and his ability to appeal to the needs and aspirations of the masses.
But Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) Maseno South Diocese Bishop Francis Mwai Abiero says Owuor is presenting himself as an idol.
“The vice should be shunned by men of God. It is very tempting for a person to be idolised. You must intentionally refuse to be idolised because it is immoral, and once you put yourself in the place of God, it can only be compared to worshiping the devil or a cult. The clergy should point people to God, and not themselves,” advises Bishop Abiero.
Dr Charles Oduke, a professor of philosophy and religious studies at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology explains why most of those who follow Owour are poor.
“People flock to him due to desperation and quick fixes. If he goes to countries with advanced social medicine like Switzerland and Denmark, he won’t get followers. He gets them in Kenya because hospitals don’t function and people don’t have money. He lures them because he promises instant healing through miracles,” Oduke, who is also a Catholic priest, says.
The priest also faults Owuor and challenged him to be open to scrutiny because our education system does not allow us to be critical about God and pastors, the reason Kenyans get duped.
Pouring water on Owuor’s miracles, Oduke says: “To be declared a saint in the Catholic Church, a person must have performed at least three miracles, which are medically related. The three miracles are verified independently by three medical doctors who are atheists. Owuor should be open to such procedures,” said Oduke.
Prof John Agak, a psychologist who teaches at Maseno University, says people flock Owuor’s crusades because they are hopeless and sick and will go to anyone who promises to reverse the conditions.
“Owuor has exalted himself to the level of a Head of State with red carpets, big cars and security. Owuor uses ‘doctors’ to prove that his followers have been healed so that the masses can follow him,” he says.
The psychologist equates Owour’s crusades to “comic shows”, noting that Jesus did not exalt himself, but was a humble shepherd and went to meet people in their places but did not advertise in the media for people to come to him.