Church fights or­der to pay pri­ests Sh6.8m in gay case

Daily Nation (Kenya) - - NATIONAL NEWS - BY JOSEPH WANGUI

The Angli­can Church of Kenya has asked the labour court to stop the im­ple­men­ta­tion of an or­der re­quir­ing it to pay Sh6.8 mil­lion to three pri­ests it ac­cused of en­gag­ing in ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity.

Through lawyer Wachira Nder­itu, the church wants the Em­ploy­ment and Labour Re­la­tions Court in Ny­eri to sus­pend the ex­e­cu­tion of its de­cree of an award for dam­ages, dat­ing back to Septem­ber 9, 2016, pend­ing the hear­ing and de­ter­mi­na­tion of its ap­pli­ca­tion.

The lawyer filed a con­sti­tu­tional ap­pli­ca­tion, ar­gu­ing that the church was de­nied a right of re­ply be­fore the de­cree in re­spect of the three Mt Kenya West Dio­cese pas­tors.

Defama­tion

Pas­tors Paul Warui, John Gachau and James Maigua were awarded the mil­lions for defama­tion af­ter be­ing ac­cused of en­gag­ing in ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity.

Jus­tice Byram On­gaya also di­rected the church to re­in­state the three so that they could per­form their pas­toral du­ties.

Mr Nder­itu ap­plied to have Mt Kenya West Dio­cese’s Bishop Joseph Ka­gunda and the Church Com­mis­sion­ers for Kenya (CCK) named as re­spon­dents in the suit.

He said if any claim is to be ex­e­cuted and com­plied with, then it could only be by the sit­ting dio­cese bishop and the CCK, and not the ACK trus­tees, as in­di­cated by the pe­ti­tion­ers.

The coun­sel said the pe­ti­tion­ers, on re­al­is­ing that they could not make any claim against the CCK, given that it was a su­per­vi­sory board with no share cap­i­tal in the church, they amended their claims, di­rect­ing them to the reg­is­tered ACK trus­tees.

He crit­i­cised the court for mak­ing find­ings that the CCK was the same as the reg­is­tered trus­tees, adding that the claim could not hold.

The lawyer wants the bishop to be en­joined in the mat­ter so that he can demon­strate to the court that the claimants can­not main­tain any case in the cur­rent cir­cum­stances.

The mat­ter will come up for men­tion­ing on Oc­to­ber 19, when the court will give a rul­ing on whether to en­join the two par­ties in the suit.

The claimants have also filed a crim­i­nal of­fences case against the church for defama­tion at the High Court, and the hear­ing is set for De­cem­ber 8.

They ar­gue that they have suf­fered loss of rep­u­ta­tion and in­tegrity among the con­gre­gants and the pub­lic.

19 The date in Oc­to­ber when court will give a rul­ing on whether to en­join bishop and Church Com­mis­sion­ers for Kenya in the suit

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