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Court orders Church to pay elder Sh5.5 million for defamation

By Julius Chepkwony | Published Fri, July 14th 2017 at 11:59, Updated July 14th 2017 at 12:07 GMT +3
Joseph Kamira Wanjau in Nakuru Town on September 29, 2016 after attending court when a judgement was delivered in his favor. The court awarded him Sh5.5M as compensation for damages in a defamation case. He had sued the Presbyterian Church of East Africa for depicting him as crook and an undisciplined arrogant elder in a letter read in over 30 churches in November 2013. PHOTO KIPSANG JOSEPH.

The High Court has given the Presbyterian Church of East Africa 45 days to pay a church elder Sh5.5 million.

The court dismissed an application by the church and its head, Reverend Lloyd Kabaiya, seeking a stay of execution of the court’s judgment dated November 30, 2016.

Justice Janet Mulwa had ordered the church to pay Joseph Kamira Wanjau, a church elder, the sum for defamation.

Demanded keys

The court had awarded Mr Wanjau the money after ruling that the church had defamed him in a dispute over a Sh90 million rental building in Milimani estate.

At the time of the dispute, Wanjau chaired the committee that was managing the church’s houses where each tenant paid a monthly rent of Sh35,000.

He told the court that Reverend Kabaiya and others had demanded the house keys from him without following the proper procedure. He declined to hand over the keys and was consequently sacked through a letter that was read out in churches.

Mr Wanjau went to court after the church and the PCEA Foundation read a letter to congregants in over 30 branches for three consecutive Sundays, announcing his sacking in November 2013.

He said the announcement depicted him as a crook and an undisciplined and arrogant elder, which led to loss of friends in church and business.

Justice Janet Mulwa said Wanjau had proved the element of malice ‘beyond reasonable doubt’. [Julius Chepkwony]

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