Bishop Alexander Kipsang Muge
He was a clergyman who used the pulpit to demand social justice and political reforms. He also fought against the most blatant ills of the government of the day: corruption, land grabbing, ethnicity, and tyranny. In a decade of dedicated service, Muge became the embodiment of vocal opposition and courage in the face of despotism.
Born in 1948, Muge first trained as a soldier before resigning in 1973 to become a soldier for Jesus. He was ordained in 1975, becoming a pastor at St Stephen’s Church on Jogoo Road, Nairobi, the following year. He served there until 1983, when he was appointed the first Bishop of the Diocese of Eldoret.
Muge’s untimely death in August 1990 through a road accident both shocked and stunned the nation, coming so soon after he had been warned by then Labour Minister Peter Okondo against setting foot in Busia.
During the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission hearings in Eldoret in 2012, one James Khwatenge confessed to having participated in the plot to kill the outspoken clergyman. Khwatenge, a former intelligence officer, spoke of a plan called Operation Shika Msumari, whose sole mission was to kill Muge.
One of the best chronicles of this great man of God is Nicholas Otieno’s Beyond the Silence of Death: Life and Theology of the Late Bishop Alexander Kipsang Muge (1993). Bishop Muge’s legacy remains one of undisputed courage, determination and making the ultimate sacrifice for his country.