SDA church kicks out 15 over battles

Mr Geoffrey Asanyo, a member of Nairobi Central SDA Church (right) argues with head of Flying Squad Musa Yego at the church last Saturday. [File, Standard]

The wrangling Nairobi Central SDA Church has expelled 15 of its members ahead of the annual camp, which kicks off today.

At the same time, the chaos that have rocked the church have forced top government officials who worship there to seek sojourn in alternate churches.

The Wednesday’s expulsion of the 15 by the Central Kenya Conference president Pr John Kiragu Ngunyi is expected to add fuel to the fire expected in today’s service. A guest speaker, Dr Lael Caesar, will be presiding over the camp themed “saved by His grace”.

The 15, the church claims, are the main trouble-makers.

“This is to let you know that the persons named do not belong to the Seventh Day Adventist faith and their names were dropped from our books,” the letter addressed to all pastors and churches of the Central Kenya Conference says.

But it is the letter’s last paragraph that may trigger more confusion as the named members assert their innocence and deny the claims.

“You are strongly advised not to entertain or give them audience in any of our churches for the sake of peace and unity in church.”

Chief Justice David Maraga, Interior CS Fred Matiang’i and Justice Patrick Kiage are among prominent worshipers who are said to have found refuge in SDA Karengata Church in Karen. Last weekend, Senator Sam Ongeri took off immediately chaos erupted.

Other prominent members of the troubled church are Justice Azenath Ongeri, Senator Chris Obure, MPs TJ Kajwang, Simba Arati and Millie Odhiambo, lawyer George Kegoro, Justice (rtd) Samuel Bosire, former PS Bitange Ndemo and Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter’s wife Priscilla Keter.

A pointer to the high stakes in the management of the conflict was last week’s bizarre appearance of the head of Police Flying Squad Musa Yego to quell the chaos.

Yesterday, a high-level meeting between the two warring groups was held in Nairobi in an effort to reconcile the parties.

An earlier meeting held at a hotel in Kilimani, Nairobi, failed to reach a consensus last Wednesday as the warring parties declined to cede ground.

Yesterday, Nairobi police chief Philip Ndolo warned that police would arrest and lock up trouble makers during today’s churchceremony.

Ndolo said adequate security measures, which he declined to reveal, had been taken to ensure ugly incidents are not witnessed in the church. Other police sources said the violence witnessed last week was a subject of discussion during the Nairobi County Security and Intelligence Committee meeting.