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How three clergymen from Mt Kenya region used the judiciary to reap big from ‘defamation’ case

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(Rev James Maina Maigua(left), Archdeacon John Njogu Gachau(center), and Rev Paul Mwangi Warui(right) at Nyeri Law courts on September 9, 2016.)

Three Clergymem from Anglican Church Mt Kenya West Diocese, Nyeri have reaped big in a ‘defamation’ case that began in 2015 where they were suspended from leading the Lord’s sheep to heavenly kingdom on the ground that they were homosexuals.

According to the finding of a tribunal formed in 2015 and which had their formal sitting on August 21, 2015 at the ACK Baden Powell Hall Mothers’ Union office, the three were found guilty of homosexuality and Bishop Joseph Kagunda of Anglican Church Mt Kenya West Diocese proceeded to revoke their licences to officiate at ACK church services.  The tribunal had Canon Wilfred Nderitu Gichuki as chairman and Humphrey Irungu and Godfrey Wanjohi as members.

The three clergymen namely Reverend Paul Mwangi Warui, Archdeacon John Njogu Gachau and Reverend James Maina Maigua were awarded sh6.8 million by Employment and Labour Relations court in Nyeri as compensation for damaging their reputation. The court found that their was no evidence on the claims levelled against them. What evidence really? For the court to ask evidence in homosexuality cases means that the presiding judge did not want the case to see the light of the day. If alligator comes from water and tells you the crocodile is sick, you do not have to question it and all you do is to believe it.

The compensation were eventually paid by the Church Trustee with Archdeacon Njogu getting the elephant share of sh2,437,780, followed by Reverend Maina getting sh2,224,996 and Mwangi taking home the least share sh2,219,814.

The three were then cleared to resume their pastoral duties by Bishop Kagunda only to be chased away by Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) at Kariki parish, St. Stephens Thunguri parish and Witima parish just a day after their court-ordered reinstatement and redeployment. The believers carried placards indicating the clergymen must go.

Even after reaping big from the Church through labour court, the three men of ‘God’ who seemingly have influencial individuals behind them went further to intitute defamation proceedings against the bishop Joseph Kagunda who had refused to reinstate them following the court order.

The clerics sought orders compelling the bishop to issue a written apology in the local dailies and compensate them for defamation. Presiding Judge Abigail Mshila who was handling the case advised them to seek out of court agreeme to which both sides accepted.

On November 7 this year, the bishop and the three clerics settled the dispute outside the courts. The church reportedly awarded the clerics an eight-month salary as compensation for defamation.

With the rise of homosexual cases from men of cloth, there is need to handle cases of homosexuality with care for smoke cannot come where there is no fire.

The demonstration of members of the Church against the three were enough evidence.

Clearing them and forcing the church community to readmit them is only playing deaf ears to the many victims out there. Awarding them millions for defamation is only a proof that there were bigger forces behind the three.

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