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Spiritual leader asks attorney-general to annul church elections

A row is simmering in the African Independent Pentecostal Church of Africa after two trustees questioned an election that elected new leaders, claiming rigging and bias against some regions they said were not represented in the vote.

The church’s spiritual head, Archbishop Amos Kabuthu, and Men Council chairman Eliud Njua Juma, both trustee members, have written to the Office of the Attorney-General alleging massive fraud in the church elections held on January 9.

The two want the AG to step in to save the church from what they said was “unnecessary conflict and bad blood.”

“We would like to bring to your attention the skewed AIPCA Archbishop elections held on January 9 at AIPCA church headquarters under the supervision of the registrar of societies,” the two said in their letter dated January 10.

The two claimed that the elections were flawed because the register was backdated to 2012 in what they allege was a move to lock out new office holders who had taken over, while others were not allowed to vote.

“The electoral register which was used was backdated to 2012, meaning changes that have happened since then were not captured,” Archbishop Kabuthu and Mr Njua said.

They gave examples of the national treasurer, the late Timohty Gachoya, whose replacement they said was not captured to reflect the current holder, Mrs Ann Wanjiru Kahura, that the late Rev Bishop Bariu who was in charge of Meru North diocese was not replaced, and the chairlady of Embu, who passed on, and whose replacement the register does not capture.

Further, the two allege that the new office holders were not allowed to vote in the elections in favour of past office bearers.

They cited one Bertha Nyambura Mwangi “who was the chairlady in 2013 and tendered her resignation through a published advert in the Daily Nation on May 23, 2014” as well as a Mr Paul Watoro Gichu.

Even after Mr Gichu was ex-communicated by the church’s central board for participating in irregular ordinations in Nairobi and Mukaro dioceses, the two alleged, he was still allowed to vote in the January 9 polls.

The two church members have also faulted the elections for what they said was failure to include changes in the various dioceses.

They named Nairobi, Gatanga, Maragua, Mukaro South, Coast, Kirinyaga, Embu and Eldoret as dioceses that had changes.

“Delegates from these dioceses did not participate in the elections meaning their members were not represented,” the two wrote in the letter.

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