Common Roots: Ancient Evangelical Future Conference

Kenyan priests dismissed over homosexuality allegations

The Diocese of Mount Kenya West has disciplined five clergymen, accusing them of engaging in homosexual acts. However, sources in Kenya tell Anglican Ink the sodomy charges are a cover for a political purge of disloyal clergy in the diocese. In a 11 Sept 2015 press conference, the Rt. Rev. Joseph Kagunda said four priests had been suspended and an archdeacon removed from the ministry having been found “guilty of the sin of homosexuality.” The bishop said that in August a lay evangelist came forward and claimed the Ven. John Njogu Gachau had seduced him while he was the archdeacon’s house guest. The investigation broadened into an investigation into homosexual practices amongst the clergy leading to the questioning of four parish priests. While Kenyan press sources claim that the four parish priests have confessed their guilt, the accused have not confirmed this claim whilst the archdeacon vehemently denies the accusations. Speaking to The Nairobian, Archdeacon Gachau said that he had been summoned to the cathedral on 10 Sept to attend a senior meeting of clergy. When he arrived he found the meeting was to be his trial for misconduct. He was then confronted by his accuser. Archdeacon Gachau told The Nairobian that he would be allowed to plead guilty or deny the charge, but would not be entitled to call any witnesses or prepare a defence. “I found this absurd since I was ambushed with this allegations and the hearing was being conducted in a swift fashion,” he recounted. He was then asked to wait outside whilst the 10-member tribunal considered the competing claims, and then was handed a letter informing him of his suspension. In 2004 the archdeacon came in second to Bishop Kagunda for election as bishop of Mount Kenya West. Sources within the Kenyan church tell Anglican Ink they believe the charge of homosexuality was a convenient cover for the bishop to clean out political and tribal opponents in the diocese. Accusations of homosexual behavior have been used in the African political arena to defame opponents and have been used by the presidents of Zimbabwe, Malawi and politicians across East Africa. The five clergy have a right to appeal their sentences to the national church.

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