Drama played out yesterday after church service at Gachoka Africa Independent Pentecostal Church of Africa (AIPCA) was disrupted in enforcement of a court order barring Archbishop Fredrick Wang’ombe from gaining access to the sanctuary.
Tens of police officers kept vigil amid renewed infighting by two rival church factions despite ongoing negotiations.
“Police officers have been deployed there. It is quite unfortunate this is happening.” Wang’ombe said.
According to insiders, the court order was obtained by an ex-communicated church member opposed to Wang’ombe’s leadership as the church spiritual leader.
Last month, the two feuding factions have finally reconciled and pledged to work together when they met President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House.
Wang’ombe was elected by the church to succeed his predecessor Amos Mathenge Kabuthu after he reached the retirement age of 70 years.
However, Wang’ombe was not enthroned pending ongoing church negotiations on church leadership after the church rejected election of Julius Njoroge as the Archbishop on January 9, 2017 and instead the church elected Wang’ombe as their preferred spiritual leader.
Effectively, the negotiating teams will consult Wang’ombe on all matters.
The negotiations were occasioned by the office of the Registrar of Societies decision to register previously disputed officials despite protest by church top organ.
One of the officials listed as the church national chairman Paul Watoro Gichu was ex-communicated in 2014 while the new Vice Treasurer bertha Nyambura Mwangi resigned from office in 2013.
Gichu was ex-communicated from the church in 2014 for having participated in illegal and irregular ordinations in Nairobi and Mukaro Diocese against the church rules and doctrines.
According to a negotiation framework presented by the negotiating teams to head of Public Service Kinyua in our possession, Gichu is required to resign as a leader of the church and to withdraw all existing court cases.
Kabuthu handed over to Wang’ombe the official veil, crozier, miter, pallium to symbolise Wang’ombe’s new role of leading the church.
Njoroge was elected as the Archbishop on January 9, 2017 but the church objected. His enthronement had been scheduled for February 12, 2017 at Mukaro Diocese in Nyeri.