A clash between two groups of worshippers at the Ngucui AIPCA Church in Kirinyaga left at least ten people injured as leadership wrangles took centre stage on Sunday.
Trouble ensued when the groups led by Archdeacons John Kamau and Naftali Mwangi met at the African Independent Pentecostal Church of Africa and disagreed over who should lead the day’s service.
A bitter exchange of words was followed with a physical confrontation that saw the worshippers attack each other. It took the intervention of anti-riot police to calm the congregants down.
The officers from a nearby chief’s camp found the worshippers exchanging blows, kicking and screaming and pelting each other with stones.
Archdeacon Kamau suffered injuries to the head during the chaos. “My colleague[Archdeacon Mwangi] thrashed me with the shepherd staff until it broke into pieces, forcing me to take off for my life,” he said.
However, Mr Mwangi denied the allegations, saying his colleague was injured when he hit the church’s wall during the scuffle.
“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.
Area Chief Joseph Kariuki said the church would remain closed until the groups resolve the wrangles.
“I have summoned the two groups to my office next week to discuss the matter and chart the way forward,” said Mr Kariuki.