Anglican Christians from the Regea archdeaconry in Siaya County have petitioned Archbishop Jackson ole Sapit to step in and have the church headquarters assent to the creation of Maseno Central diocese.
In an open letter to the archbishop, the interim committee spearheading the campaign to split the Siaya town based Maseno West diocese said the Regea archdeaconry Christians have been forced to seek the prelate’s attention through the media after senior staff in his office vowed to block their correspondences from reaching him.
“We have chosen this path of open letter after attempts to have our documents reach you hit a dead end as a result of open hostility by your secretary who swore never to forward for your attention any document on the diocese of Maseno west regarding the agenda on ‘agitation for sub division of the diocese’ to create a new diocese of Maseno Central,” said the committee members led by retired archdeacon, Paul Okinyo.
Addressing the media at Odera Akang’o University campus hall in Yala town Thursday, the committee members said the archbishop’s secretary indeed refused to receive a document from a person they had sent, forcing them to devise an unorthodox way of sneaking it to the prelate.
The Christians, in an open letter read by Sinaga parish vicar’s warden Ernest Were Onyiego, lamented that there was a conspiracy by a network comprising some officials at the diocese of Maseno West and unscrupulous individuals at Ole Sapit’s office in Nairobi to frustrate their efforts of having a new diocese.
They urged ole Sapit to reign in on his secretary and ensure that she performs her duties diligently without frustrating Christians and taking sides.
Okinyo, flanked by among others, Rev Kenneth Wachianga said their push for independence from Maseno West was final and no amount of intimidation will make them reverse their decision.
Rev. Wachianga accused the current administration of Maseno West diocese of persecuting Christians and vicars who are for the split of the diocese.
“A number of priests and staff at the diocesan headquarters have been dismissed from work, forced into early retirement or even rendered redundant. Families have been separated,” he said while pleading for urgent intervention from the office of the archbishop.
The chairperson of the Mother’s union in Yala parish, Leah Nyanja said they the 22 parishes will no longer contribute to church activities under Maseno West.
They vowed that they will stop recognising the leadership of Bishop John Mark Godia from January 1, 2021whether their wish for a new diocese was granted or not.
Calls for a split of the Maseno West diocese into two has caused division amongst the Christians in the See, with those opposed to the move accusing their counterparts of undermining church activities.
A fortnight ago, a section of the clergy and laity from Regea Archdeaconry, led by the chairman of the laity, Simon Odhiambo refuted allegations that Christians from the region had unanimously agreed to secede.
By Philip Onyango