Mbale Gospel Centre Church destroyed in land row

Wednesday March 18 2020
CHURCH

A section of Gospel Centre Church in Mbale, Vihiga County, that was destroyed on February 19, 2020. PHOTO | DERICK LUVEGA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By DERICK LUVEGA

Property of unknown value was destroyed Wednesday morning when about 20 people armed with crude weapons broke into a church in Mbale town in Vihiga County following a land dispute.

The land, located within Mbale town, was leased out to the Gospel Centre Church in 1989 by Ms Agnetta Mulama. However, two other people later emerged to claim ownership.

CAUGHT UNAWARES

Bishop Isaac Wawire said the 31-year-old church was not served with any eviction notice. He said that they were caught unawares in the incident that was conducted under the watch of police officers from Mbale Police Station at 1 am Wednesday.

The cleric said the church only saw an eviction notice on Wednesday morning.

Property was strewn all over as the church leadership struggled to salvage more items from further damage.

Police remained mum on the matter even as Ms Mulama and other church officials went to Mbale Police Station to seek answers.

DISPUTE

“The church was not aware of the [land] dispute. The church leased the land and built on it and has been paying rent to Mama Agnetta Mulama who is also unaware of any dispute,” said Rev Wawire.

The cleric wondered why the eviction was conducted at night. Rev Nyabera Zavane, a senior pastor in the church, said he was informed of the incident at 2.30am Wednesday.

"Police told us they were acting on a court order which we have not seen up to now. They did not want to listen to us," said Rev Zavane.