Worshippers injured as AIPCA factions fight in Kirinyaga church


By GEORGE MUNENE
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Ten worshippers, among them a priest, were on Sunday injured when two groups clashed at Ngucui African Independent Pentecostal  Church of Africa (AIPCA) in Kirinyaga County as leadership wrangles intensified.

It took an intervention of anti-riot police officers to separate the warring groups who had been exchange blows inside the church.

During the fracas, property worth thousands of shillings was destroyed.

Chaos erupted when groups led by Archdeacons John Kamau and Naftali Mwangi met in the church and differed on who should conduct the service.

A bitter exchange of words ensued which degenerated into a physical confrontation.

Police at the nearby chief’s camp were drawn to the church by the noisy commotion where they found the groups exchanging blows, kicking and screaming and pelting each other with stones.

Archdeacon Kamau suffered head injuries after he was repeatedly struck with a staff during the skirmish.

He accused his colleague of attacking him as he tried to push him out of the church.

“My colleague thrashed me with the shepherd staff until it broke into pieces, forcing me to take off for my life,” he said.

But Mr Mwangi denied the allegation, saying that his colleague was injured when he hit the church’s wall during the scuffle.

Mr Mwangi vowed to ensure that the rival group does not take over the leadership of the church.

“The Reverend Kamau is allied to Archbishop Fredrick Wang’ombe while I support Archbishop Julius Njoroge and I will not allow him to mess up this church. We shall deal tough with the Wang’ombe’s camp,” said the Mr Mwangi.

Armed with rungus and guns, the officers charged at the fighting groups and flushed them out of the church before chasing them away.

Later, the chief of Murinduko location Joseph Kariuki ordered the church closed down indefinitely.

“I have summoned the two groups to my office next week to discuss the matter and chart the way forward,” said Mr Kariuki.

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