Church leader to hand over to elected successor

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By ERIC WAINAINA
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African Independent Pentecostal Church of Africa leader Amos Kabuthu says he is ready to step down, provided his successor is accepted by a majority of members.

While delivering a sermon at AIPCA Bahati Cathedral, the headquarters of the church, the archbishop, whose leadership has been subjected to numerous court cases, said choosing the next leader must be done procedurally and according to the constitution of the church.

“I took over leadership of the church in 2013 in a very peaceful transition witnessed by former President Mwai Kibaki and the current President Uhuru Kenyatta,” he told the gathering.

“I also expect the transition to be peaceful when elections are conducted.

“I am not refusing to leave office. If free and fair elections were to be conducted today and we do things procedurally, you will not find me in office the day after tomorrow since I am also tired of the wrangles and mudslinging,” he added.

The archbishop said if allowed, he would appoint an acting head of the church, pending elections within 30 days, after which “I will hand over to the new archbishop smoothly”.

The church, which has a big following in central Kenya, is split into two, with Mr Julius Njoroge leading the other faction.

Archbishop Kabuthu said he is ready to relinquish power to Mr Njoroge if he is elected genuinely.

“I have said it before and I will repeat it; I will not and I will never hand over the church leadership to someone who has not been unanimously elected. I am ready to die or be jailed,” he said.

Archbishop Kabuthu rallied church members to support President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election.

He said voting for the President would be a way of rewarding him for attempting to reconcile the warring factions and saving the church from collapse.

“Were it not for the intervention of President Uhuru Kenyatta the church would have foundered,” Archbishop Kabuthu explained.
“The only gift the church can give the President is supporting his re-election.”

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