Leadership wrangles continue to rock the Nairobi Central Seventh-Day Adventist Church with one of the warring groups now faulting the government for reopening the church that had been closed indefinitely.
Flora Mworia, Nairobi Regional Commissioner, on August 10, directed that the church premises be closed until warring parties reconcile.
“The church will only be re-opened for fellowship after the wrangling factions resolve their differences,” Ms Mworia told journalists at her Nyayo House office.
In a statement on Wednesday, members allied to the Nairobi Cosmopolitan Conference (NCC), expressed their dismay over circumstances under which the church was reopened as the crisis in the church has not been resolved.
“We find this development strange, unbelievable and suspicious. The issues which led the
government to close the church have not been resolved, ” the statement reads in part.
The group dismissed reports that its leadership had snubbed a security meeting convened at Nairobi Area Headquarters to decide on the matter.
“We are not aware of that meeting. We will be happy to get any evidence from Mr.Ndolo [Nairobi Police Commandant Philip Ndolo] that our group was indeed invited and snubbed the meeting. ”
The group accused SDA’s Central Kenya Conference (CKC) leadership, Maxwell church pastors J.P Maywa and Peter Nyaga of deploying goons at the Maxwell Church last Sabbath, who denied some of their ‘targeted’ members entry.
About 100 goons were deployed at the gate, inside the compound and
inside the church, the group says.
“Even when the church re-opened on Saturday, the leadership posted goons at the gate to
vet members of our group, preventing those targeted from accessing the church.
“Two deacons, one working for Central Bank of Kenya and another for Kenya Broadcasting
Corporation were tasked to help the goons at the gate to pick out those not wanted in the
church and block them from entering the church compound, ” the members said.
Last week, the group accused the CKC leadership led by its President John Kiragu of massive embezzlement of church resources including tithes and offerings.
This is after 15 of its members were allegedly deregistered for what Kiragu termed “being behind recent chaos that have rocked the church.”
“The purpose of removing a member from a church register is supposed to be ‘Redemptive’ rather than ‘Condemnatory’. The leaders were shy to come out that they are angry with some of the members they have purported to remove from the church register because they have been highlighting and even stopping fraudulent activities within the church leadership.
“So let there be known that there are no other reasons for wanting to remove the 15 except engaging and challenging the church leadership on grounds of corruption and embezzlement of church resources, ” group chairman Sammy Masara said.
Masara stated that some of the targeted members had raised alarm on intended fraudulent sale of a prime church property worth Ksh200 million in Kileleshwa. The alleged sale has since been stopped.
“In this matter, there was blatant forgery and misrepresentation of material facts that caused the DCI to investigate. The report is still lying at the Office of Director of Public Prosecution for action, which we believe should be taken up by all relevant government arms to bring the culprits to book, ” he said.
Control of millions of shillings, in tithes and offerings, as well as scholarships, jobs in church-run schools and hospitals, are among issues the group accuses CKC of mismanaging.
The group has now stated that it will not relent until the matter at hand is resolved.
“Those of us who are aggrieved by this development wish to emphatically say this matter is
far from over. Nobody should have any elusions that he or they would disenfranchise a
large number of membership, up to the tune of 65%, and continue running the church with
unbelievable dictatorship and impunity and expect peace, ” NCC said.
Here’s the statement: