Kenya church bans politicians from fundraisers, MP ‘wanted’ over brawl

Police in Kenya have declared a sitting lawmaker “wanted” for his role in a fracas at a church service over the weekend.

Local media reported that security heads in the central Muranga county were looking to arrest Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro. An official of the county’s criminal investigations outfit urged the MP to surrender in his own interest.

Julius Rutere is quoted to have said: “Anyone who sees him should tell him to surrender because he can run but he cannot hide.” Police also added that a number of official complainants had been filed against the MP over the incident.

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According to the official, Nyoro committed a range of criminal offences on Sunday when he briefly disrupted worship at the Gitui Catholic church located in his constituency.

Authorities said some of the charges they have line up for the MP include creating a public nuisance, assaulting police officers and resisting lawful arrest.

In a case of local-level political squabble, the wanted MP created a scene at a church service as he attempted to prevent an opponent he accused of undermining him from speaking.

His actions led to a 10-minute hold up in proceedings following which the priest in charge and others were able to restore order. Scuffles also broke out between rival factions over the incident.

Police attempt to arrest him at the church premises was unsuccessful because his supporters had shielded him.

On Monday, Muranga Catholic Bishop James Wainaina announced a ban on politicians attending fundraisings ceremonies in two counties – Muranga and Kirinyaga.

The order which will be in place until further notice is to reduce the incidence of politicians using the pulpit to settle their scores, the Bishop said. He also sternly condemned the incident and said the Church was demanding an apology.

“They set a bad precedent and treated the House of God as a place where political scores can be settled. I feel this incident is a strong confirmation of the reasons to limit time and pace offered to politicians,” he said.

“The Catholic Diocese of Murang’a demands an apology from those involved,” he added.

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