Three dead as Vihiga church row flares up

By: JOSEPH JAMENYA

Worshippers in Vihiga killed three people that were part of a gang, intending to disrupt a church service at Jebrok in Hamisi constituency.

A house and a car belonging to a leaders at the Africa Israel Nineveh church were also destroyed over leadership wrangles by two rival groups.

The injured, majority of them with deep cuts on their bodies, were rushed to Mbale and Hamisi hospitals in a critical condition. There have been protracted leadership wrangles for the control of the Church of Nineveh.

Leadership wrangles in the church started when its founder Daudi Kivuri died in the 1950s leaving it under his son Mweresa John.

Mweresa’s leadership has in the past been challenged by Kivura’s widow Rebecca Kivura and another son Chadiva Amugune leading to the wrangles.

Vihiga county commissioner Boaz Cherotich said six suspects were arrested.

“Those killed were hired to offer protection to the alleged church leaders. We have arrested some suspects to held us get to the bottom of this matter,” he said.

A meeting was convened to resolve the differences yesterday but ended up in chaos after members opposed to Mweresa got angered when they saw goons he allegedly hired to the meeting and decided to flush them out.

A fight started and some goons were overpowered and killed. Just six months ago, a Kisumu court ruled in favour of Kivuri but the ruling was not well received by Mweresa and his followers.

It is alleged that Mweresa had strategically placed the goons at the gate to block the other party from entering the church for the meeting while others took position inside his house.

Mweresa is said to have escaped as the situation got worse. Anti-riot police moved in and separated the warring groups and closed the church until further notice.