NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 14 – The Nairobi Cosmopolitan Conference (NCC) of the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) church has attributed the recent SDA Church wrangles to corruption and negative ethnicity.
Speaking during a press conference on Wednesday, conference’s Chairperson Samuel Masara, said church members have witnessed with dismay the loss of focus by the leaders of the Nairobi Central Maxwell church a majority of whom, he said, are now pursuing personal gain at the expense of the church.
Masara further stated that the SDA church has experienced massive misappropriation of church funds for what he termed as selfish interests.
“This corruption and a litany of injustices in our church has manifested itself in unfair access to scholarship opportunities where leaders dish out these opportunities to themselves, family members and their cronies so as to gain more academic degrees to qualify for higher church positions,” said Masara.
“The church’s leaders have effectively divided church members along ethnic lines to achieve and retain church administrative power to facilitate their continued plunder of church resources which members contribute in form of tithes and offerings. We have credible information that some of them are now involved in a chain of real estate ventures using church resources effectively contravening Article 10 of Kenyan Constitution on national values.”
Enock Kinara who is a member of the NCC said SDA church institutions including colleges and health facilities have been captured by selfish leaders who offer employment opportunities to close family members and relatives.
“A keen observation on the management of any of the SDA church institution will reveal that those institutions have become cash cows for self-enrichment of the said leaders. Accountability in the management of the SDA properties, finances and human resource is wanting,” said Kinara.
Worshipers at Nairobi Central SDA church were Saturday redirected to St George’s High School in Nairobi as leadership wrangles pitting two rival groups against each other escalated.
Anti-riot police officers were seen manning the church premises in a bid to maintain law and order following last week’s incident where officials exchanged blows, during a church service.
Confused worshipers were left stranded until a quick albeit temporary solution was found to divert them to an alternative place.
One of the leaders, Pastor Peter Nyaga, who addressed journalists outside the church said they did not expect the turn of events, saying church members should be allowed to worship freely without interference.
“Our constitution is under trial since we have freedom of association and worship. The religious liberty is at test,” he said.
“We don’t want to cause any chaos since are Christians. I am asking my members to go to the alternative place for worship.”
On Saturday evening, Nairobi Regional Commissioner Flora Mworia directed that the church premises be closed until warring parties reconcile.
“The church will only be re-opened for fellowship after the wrangling factions resolve their differences,” Mworia told journalists at her Nyayo House office.