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New era for Methodist church in Kenya as Rev. Deye takes over

Rev. DR. Gilbert Deye | PHOTO-Courtesy

By Gerald Kibaki

It is a new dawn for the Methodist Church in Kenya after Bishop Isaiah Deye takes over as the presiding Bishop.

Deye garnered 281 votes against his closest challenger Bishop Dr. Catherine Mutua who garnered 35 votes while Bishop Bundi Miriti had 26 votes and Harison Mwiti got 24 votes.

The Church had split into regional conferences during the tenure of former Presiding Bishop Joseph Ntombura and it is anticipated that Deye will do everything possible to unite the flock.

Ntombura was installed as the presiding bishop of the church in 2013.

Ntombura was ousted from the leadership and Deye had taken over in an acting capacity since April this year.

On December 3, a proclamation was done by more than 200 delegates from various synods to the effect that an interim leadership be instituted to run the affairs of the church.

The interim leadership consisting of Bishop Stephen Kanyaru, Isaiah Deye (secretary), Dr. Gerishon Mwiti (treasurer), and a caretaker committee took over office.

Ntombura’s tenure was marred with allegations of mismanagement of the Kenya Methodist University center, disposing of church property illegally, and corruption among other scandals.

These led to several Synods rejecting Ntombura’s leadership and embracing Deye who comes from the Coastal region.

Delegates will now proceed and elect Synod Bishops, Conference Secretary, and Conference Honorary Treasurer.

Bishop Deye had said Ntombura’s term ended on August 4 last year and that it was against the church’s Constitution where any Presiding Bishop can only lead for two terms of five years each.

Ntombura was accused of changing the church constitution where he added two more years to continue leading the church.

Bishop Ntombura had hinted at leaving the Church in April before the end of his two years term ends to save the church from further problems.

“I am cutting short my term. I will leave before 2024. I will ensure the process of getting a new presiding bishop can start this year and elections can be held. No one is above me in the church’s hierarchy, meaning there is nobody I can handover over my resignation to now,” Ntombura said.

Ntombura had defended himself from any wrongdoing and that the church is governed by its constitution, standing orders, and resolutions of its conference.

Former Presiding Bishop Lawi Imathiu has been at the forefront of telling Bishop Ntombura to retire and let someone else take the mantle of the church leadership.

“If you want our church to be united again and speak in one voice then we must learn to forgive, love one another and speak to one another if there are differences,” he said.

Imathiu said the church has become a laughing stock.

“How can we pray for others when we have divisions in our church it’s like telling a madman he is dirty while you are stinking,” Imathiu said.

Ntombura has been blaming enemies from within the Church and government for fighting him and the church leadership to have assets valued at over Sh12 billion sold with the aim of plundering the proceeds.

Ntombura earlier said Methodist has assets in all counties except in Mandera and Makueni where the church is yet to establish branches.

“We have parcels of land worth billions of shillings. The church owns resort and real estate properties in key towns and a university which they want to be sold and divided among individuals. I am the one standing in their way,” he said.

Among the assets that had been allegedly identified for sale according to Ntombura are the Kenya Methodist University and conference and resort facilities in Nairobi.

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