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Infighting threatens to tear Seventh Day Adventist Church apart

Leadership wrangles in the Seventh Day Adventist Church have forced the Registrar of Societies to intervene after it emerged that some of its officials may not be legally recognised.

Communication seen by the Nation shows that the church, whose full name is Seventh Day Adventist East Africa Union, has not held elections for officials since 2012.

The latest bickering started on September 19 when Mose Nyambega & Company Advocates representing an elder in the church, Mr Geoffrey Asanyo, reported to the Registrar of Societies that some officials were planning to hold a special general meeting on September 20 in Nairobi.

Mr Asanyo sought to know whether the officials were recognised by the law.

The same day, the registrar wrote to the purported officials whose agenda was to amend the constitution and elect new office bearers.

The registrar said the convener of the meeting was not registered in its books and warned that the outcome of the meeting would not be recognised.

According to the church constitution, elections should be held every five years and the last one was in 2006.

Those elected at the time were Executive Director Paul Muasya, Executive Secretary Samuel Makori and Treasurer Dan Ogwena and their terms ought to have ended in 2012 and new elections held.

NOT RECOGNISED LEGALLY

In 2012, the SDA Church East Africa Union was reorganised into the Kenya Union Mission which further split into East Kenya Union Conference (EKUC) and West Kenya Union Conference (WKUC) and the two conducted their respective elections in September 2015.

EKUC has Mr Makori as executive director, Alfred Marundu as executive secretary and Nehemiah Maiyo as treasurer while WKUC had Mr Ken Maena as executive director, Mr Japheth Ochoroki as executive secretary and Mr David Sande as treasurer.

It, however, turns out that the two groups were not recognised legally.

On November 17, the registrar declared that all the six were in office illegally.

“We have observed that the Seventh Day Adventist Church East Africa Union does not have officebearers and is in contravention of its constitution,” wrote the registrar.

The church was directed to hold elections within 60 days and amend its constitution.

On November 21, the church called for a special general meeting on December 6 but on November 29, Mr Asanyo wrote to the registrar discrediting the meeting and it has now been postponed.

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