Five injured, property destroyed as worshippers fight in church
Five worshippers have been seriously injured and property worth thousands of shillings destroyed during after chaos broke out at Uiguano African Independent Pentecostal Church of Africa (AIPCA) in Nyandarua County.
The scuffle broke out between supporters of two bishops who have been fighting over leadership of the church.
Nyandarua diocese AIPCA tribunal chairman, Mr Wahome Kamoche, said the warring members are supporting two different bishops, both claiming to be in-charge of the diocese.
“We met on Friday at the deputy county commissioner’s office where it was agreed that the church remains closed until leadership wrangles between Bishop Gitau Njoroge and Bishop Fredrick Wahome are resolved. We recognise Bishop Gitau as the one ordained and licensed to head the diocese,” said Mr Kamoche.
According to eye witnesses, a group of youths stormed the church with crude weapons and started beating worshippers who were in the middle of the Sunday service.
Police officers from Ol Kalou Police Station arrived and calmed the situation. However, the “hired goons” had fled the scene. Those injured were rushed to the nearby JM Memorial Hospital.
Attackers said to be a group of hired youths stormed the church, destroyed the altar during the fracas and extensively damaged a car belonging to a worshiper.
Faith Njeri, a church member, said that the attackers arrived soon after the service began and indiscriminately attacked the worshipers.
“We heard them approach singing war songs. They stormed the church and attacked us. They were armed with crude weapons and whips. Some of them surrounded the church as others stood at the door to block us,” said Ms Njeri.
She said the raid was well planned, rehearsed and executed.
Police, led by Rurii Assistant County Commissioner Henry Bidii, moved in to stop the fight.
“The government is at an advanced stage in solving the leadership wrangle but today’s fight has reversed the gains. The attacks are a criminal activity. These bloodstains are something we do not expect to see in a church. We have taken charge of the church’s security,” said Mr Bidii.
Blood stains could be seen covering the floor starting from the main entrance of the church, whose name, Uiguano, means “unity”.
Pieces of broken chairs and other furniture were also scattered all over the church.