A group of Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) Kitale Diocese worshippers has moved to court seeking orders to ensure planned elections for the bishop are free and fair.
The diocese is undergoing transition with the term of Bishop Stephen Kewasis coming to an end after 21 years of leadership since it was hived off the Eldoret Diocese.
Three candidates are battling to take over the leadership mantle of the expansive diocese which covers Trans Nzoia, West Pokot and Turkana counties with 353 churches and 67 parishes.
The group, dubbed “concerned Anglicans”, has taken issue with the fact that the 23 members of the electoral college which will oversee the process on August 25 have not been made public hence creating room for possible manipulation.
“We want the court to compel Archbishop Jackson ole Sapit to put in place transparent measures that will ensure that nobody influences the outcome of the election,” said the group’s chairman Mwiruri Muturi.
The move to court comes after the church refused to honour their concerns over the credibility of the process which began with an elimination exercise by the search committee which selected the three candidates.
“We know there is a scheme to select biased officials to oversee the election process in favour of a certain candidate. We have further prayed that the court should quash the whole process in the event that the church will fail to ensure that it is transparent,” said Mr Muturi.
The three in the race are Rev Emmanuel Chemengich of Trans Nzoia, Rev Kimtai and Canon Polycarp Kibiwot from West Pokot County.
ACK Archbishop Jackson ole Sapit led a service on August 6 at the Kitale ASK showground in a warm-up to the election of the new bishop which will be held at St Lukes ACK Church Kitale.
“We are thankful to Rt Rev Kewasis for having overseen the growth of this diocese since he was enthroned as the first bishop on July 20, 1997. Focus is now on identifying his successor,” said Archbishop Sapit