Pastor Nga’ng’a says he will not surrender church land to Kenya Railways
Neno Evangelism Centre leader James Ng’ang’a on Sunday announced that he is ready to fight tooth and nail with Kenya Railways to retain ownership of the land where the main church in Nairobi stands.
The controversial pastor scoffed at a letter from Kenya Railways Corporation Managing Director Philip Mainga claiming that the church on Haile Selassie Avenue stands on property meant for the agency.
In the letter he wrote on Friday, Mr Mainga notified the Neno church founder that the corporation is planning to reclaim the parcel because it was not converted from public to private use as per the law.
“(The church) encroaches on land initially reserved for railway use,” said part of the letter, which explained the tract of land was initially reserved for Kenya Railways. A number of other businesses, including churches and petrol stations, are also located on the mentioned section.
Mr Mainga demanded that Mr Ng’ang’a surrenders to Kenya Railways all the documents pertaining to the “irregular” allocation of the property.
The notification from the railways boss comes at a time when the Neno establishment plans to build a multistorey building dubbed the Neno Tower in the place where the current structure stands.
Already, the congregants have started contributing for the ground-breaking of the tower, which will have basement parking lots, among other features.
While addressing the congregants during a televised sermon on Sunday, Mr Ng’ang’a was categorical that Neno bought the property from Central Bank of Kenya.
“The owner of this field had a bank that borrowed money from the Central Bank. The bank went under and Central Bank seized its property, which it sold to get money to pay back [the] depositors,” he said.
In his characteristic tough-talking, Mr Ng’ang’a promised dire consequences against anyone who would dare displace the church, which has been at the current location since 2003.
“You can go and change (the registration documents) if you are man enough,” he dared. “Go and backdate and say it belongs to the railway.”
He further threatened: “I swear before God, hutabakisha hata mjukuu duniani hapa (you won’t even have a grandchild left on the face of the earth).”
“Will I keep issuing blessings? We also curse. It is inconceivable that people wake up to joke with a man of God. Which God are you playing with?”
Kenya Railways says it is seeking to reclaim its properties across the country, working in partnership with the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and the Assets Recovery Agency.
The reclamation has already happened in Kisumu, the result being the eviction dozens of businesses, and demolition of a number of structures on Kenya Railways premises.