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November 15, 2018

Kitale Diocese ACK split over selection of assistant bishop

Bishops Dr. Christopher Ruto and Stephen Kewasis of Eldoret and Kitale ACK diocese during the 50th anniversary of Kapsabet St. Pauls Theological college in 2013. PHOTO/file
Bishops Dr. Christopher Ruto and Stephen Kewasis of Eldoret and Kitale ACK diocese during the 50th anniversary of Kapsabet St. Pauls Theological college in 2013. PHOTO/file

Anglican church members in Kitale Diocese have been split after Samson Tuliapus was consecrated the assistant bishop of Kapenguria Bishopric area on Sunday.

One faction, led by West Pokot ACK Christians chairperson Laban Korellach, said it does not recognise the consecration of Tuliapus.

It threatens to boycott church activities and says it wants its own diocese.

The group says the area has more than 30,000 ACK followers and it can stand on its own. The faction said the appointment of Tuliapus by Bishop Rev Stephen Kewasis was not done according to the law.

Korellach said the region has enough members to form their own diocese and they are not part of the ceremony that took place at St John’s Church in Chepareria.

“We need a fully fledged diocese in this county. We have four bishops, 28 parishes, priests, archdeacons, synod members, lay readers and pastors. We want Kitale diocese divided,” Korellach said.

The Korellach faction threatened to boycott the church activities.

“The ACK church is divided into two. The current bishop, who is set to retire early next year, did not listen to the voices of Christians,” he said.

Yesterday, Korellach said the committee that was supposed to elect the bishop did not vote as required by law.

He said Kewasis just “imposed” Tuliapus on the people.

The other faction, led by Bishop Kewasis, and which supports the consecration of Tuliapus, said they followed procedures in electing the bishop. They thanked the head of the church in Kenya, Jackson ole Sapit, for gracing the occasion.

Kewasis termed the allegations by the other group “mere politics”.

“These are politics of a few people, who are after their own selfish interests,” Kewasis said.

Korellach also said dialogue was not tried to unite the church in West Pokot.

“The ACK Church cannot be trusted to arbitrate or mediate dialogue over the political impasse in the country, if the church has failed to resolve its own issues,” Korellach said.

The group, led by Korellach, also accused Bishop Kewasis of imposing leaders on them, harassing the clergy, being undemocratic and having personal interests in the church.

“The bishop has been a stumbling block. He has divided Christians and he wants to take the church as his personal property,” Korellach said.

 

 

 

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