Kenya: Student Hurt in Ruiru Row Over Sacked Pastor

A Kenyatta University student was injured in a fracas at PCEA Ruiru church on Sunday. Stephen Njogu was treated at Ruiru District Hospital for eye and chest injuries.

The Star – Njogu had been manhandled by church elders for questioning the suspension of the minister Rev Julius Waigwa.

The elder who allegedly beat up Njogu had to be rescued from the congregation baying for his blood by AP officers whom the elders, who were anticipating trouble, had hired to provide security.

The elder was put in a waiting car and driven out of the church compound. The student had insisted that the congregation be told why Waigwa was forced to go on compulsory leave.

The congregation was further irked by the pronouncement by Kambui Presbytery Clerk Rev George Mugambi, who was leading the service, that the decision by the Kirk Session on Waigwa’s suspension was final.

The service was cut short after more than 200 worshippers walked out in protest leaving only the elders and their families in the church.

Chanting “Waigwa will return through faith and the elders will go through faith”, the faithful swore to disrupt any future service until the minister’s suspension is revoked and he returns to continue leading his flock.

Trouble in the church started three weeks ago when the congregation learnt that Waigwa had been forced to go on compulsory leave. This was after elders said they were not ready to work with him due to his populist ideas.

But church members interviewed by the Star said Waigwa is being “sacrificed” for sealing loopholes through which elders were siphoning church funds.

They said one of the reasons for the suspension was an audit check that Waigwa intended to launch. Waigwa’s troubles with the elders started when he banned harambees and insisted that any development to be undertaken by the church must be through tithes and offerings.

This did not go down well with the elders, church members said. On Sunday, when the service was disrupted, the elders locked themselves in the vestry and refused to address the crowd waiting outside the church.

Efforts by the media to get a statement from them were unsuccessful. Ruiru human rights activist John Waweru, who took Njogu to hospital, blamed the church top hierarchy for “allowing the issue to explode”.

“They have let down the faithful by burying their heads in the sand, ignoring the wishes of the majority and wishing away the problem,” Waweru said.

He called on the government to tame errant church leaders who are using the church as an avenue for material gain.

Categories: Africa

About Author

Write a Comment

Your e-mail address will not be published.
Required fields are marked*