Archbishop Fredrick Wang’ombe was today handed over the leadership mantle of the Africa Independent Pentecostal Church of Africa (AIPCA) by his successor Amos Mathenge Kabuthu in a colourful ceremony at church headquarters AIPCA Bahati Cathedral.
Hundreds of congregants led by Bishops drawn from all AIPCA Dioceses, church shepherds and joyful faithfuls thronged the church to witness the much awaited ceremony.
“I hand over the leadership of the church to you. I would also like to officially introduce him to you,” Kabuthu said as the thrilled crowd cheered in praises.
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 al Kabuthu has retired peacefully living the church in the hands of their preferred spiritual leader.
Wang’ombe was unanimously elected less than three weeks after disputed elections of Julius Njoroge for the same post.
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.
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.
“The electoral register which was used was backdated to 2012 meaning changes that have happened since then were never captured. For example, the National Treasurer the late Timothy Gitonga Gachoya replacement was not captured to reflect the current holder Mrs Ann Wanjiru Kahura. Bishop Bairu who was the in charge Imenti North diocese was not replaced and chairlady of Embu also passed on and the register used did not reflect the current chairlady,” the petition dated January 10, 2017 reads in part.
During controversial election of Njoroge as the Archbishop, names of dead officials and those who have already resigned were also captured in the election list without updated replacement of their successors.
Further, thirty six bishops, chairmen and chairladies boycotted the controversial election including the outgoing Archbishop Amos Kabuthu.
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.
“The central board has found you guilty of colluding with Bishop Julius Kamwaro as he illegally ordained clergy in Nairobi and Nyeri and thus it ex-communicated you,” an ex-communication notice against Gichu reference number Ref: CB/AIPCA/05/2014.
Gichu attends Bahati AIPCA church under police escort.
The ex-communication notice was signed by the secretary general Stanley Mwangi and national chairman Samuel Kimani.
Bertha Nyambura served as the national Chairlady in 2013 and tendered her resignation in May 2014 and ex-communicated member Paul Watoro Gichu participated in the disputed elections.
However, current office bearers were not incorporated in the process.
Nyambura is the wife to former Archbishop the late Samson Mwangi Gaitho.