27 February 2018

Kenya: Suspended Priests Want Church Charged With Contempt of Court

Three Anglican priests, who were suspended over allegations of engaging in homosexuality want the church to be held in contempt for failing to reinstate them into priesthood as directed by court.

Pastors James Maigua, John Gachau and Paul Warui of Mt Kenya West diocese also want the officials working as the registered trustees of the ACK church to be committed to civil jail for failing to pay them Sh6.8 million as compensation.

Through lawyer David Onsare, the priests said the church trustees had disregarded the two orders issued by the Employment and Labour Relations Court in Nyeri on September 30, 2016.

In the orders, the judge found that the three had suffered deep defamation in the eyes of the congregation and the public following the claims. The judge ordered reinstatement of the priests' preaching licences which had been annulled.

However, Mr Onsare, while appearing before the Labour court in Nyeri Monday, said the church had not complied with the orders despite being served. He called for action to protect the dignity and authority of the court.

"The disregard and disobedience of the court order by the respondent is a slap in the face of this honourable court and must be punished," he told the judge.

He said the church's action prolonged psychological trauma for the three.

The lawyer said on reporting to regional Bishop Joseph Kagunda for redeployment and assignment of duties, the priests were not posted to any church. The bishop had said there was enough proof to incriminate the three priests.

The case continues on April 5.


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