The head of the Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) has been taken to court by church members over a succession row in the Mt Kenya region.
ACK Archbishop Eliud Wabukala is accused of failing to address protests by members over bullying during the selection of the region’s bishop.
The members, Joseph Chege, Elijah Waweru, Harrison Ndoro and Erastus Mwangi, filed the case.
There were nine candidates who had qualified for the seat in Central region.
According to court documents filed before High Court Judge Mbogholi Msagha, the nine were supposed to appear before a committee appointed by Archbishop Wabukala for interviews.
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The court heard that they appeared on August 8 this year at the Central region headquarters, and it was then that wrangles between members and the man of cloth, who had been appointed to chair the committee, erupted.
The judge was told that Wabukala had appointed Bishop Stephen Kewasis to chair the committee, but he was allegedly biased during the interview sessions.
“After hours of protests, objections and disagreements, in total disregard of the members at 7pm, the chairman (Bishop Kewasis) announced three of the nine candidates as the ones validly cleared by the search committee,” lawyer Alex Anambo for the four, told the court.
“Over 50 out of 120 members of the clergy in the dioceses wrote to the Archbishop, voicing their concerns and objections over the manner in which interviews were conducted by the search committee. To date, the defendant (Wabukala), has never responded,” he added.
The four asked the court to block Wabukala from convening an electoral college to further probe the three individuals who were selected for the regional seat, up until the case is heard and determined.
The court heard if the same was allowed, the polls would be in breach of ACK’s constitution and a violation of the church members’ right to select their leader.
One of the three clergies allegedly selected opposed the application, saying the four were not a part of the search team and thus did not have authority to sue. Timothy Gichere, in his court papers seeking to be enjoined as an interested party, told the court the committee had selected Wilson Burugu, John Karumwa and himself to contest for the seat at the electoral college. The case will be heard on December 16.