Power struggle splits city Pentecostal Church

The African Christian Church Rwanda in Kicukiro District is the subject of an investigation into the moral conduct of its leaders by the district authorities.

The African Christian Church Rwanda in Kicukiro District is the subject of an investigation into the moral conduct of its leaders by the district authorities.

Members of this church are said to be very upset about “their leaders being continuously fighting in what is seen as a power struggle.”

On Sunday, the morning service turned chaotic when two senior pastors allegedly fought, an incident the worshippers described “as highly embarrassing”.

The police were reportedly deployed to calm down the situation and Kicukiro District authorities have now closed the church.

“We are investigating the root cause of the rift. Somebody said it has something to do with money from donors,” a source at Kicukiro, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said yesterday.

The power struggle is between the head of the church, James Muhemeri and his duty Pastor, Felix Muhooza. Apparently, there are two factions- one royal to Muhemeri and another to Muhooza.

A source from the Church said yesterday the rift started a year a go after Muhemeri changed the original name of the church to African Christian Church International Rwanda.

This riled many members of the church and the infighting ensued. A church member who declined to be named said when the rift first emerged, the church leaders pleaded with members, saying if they made it public, the church would split.

When contacted, Kicukiro Mayor, Jules Ndamage confirmed the development on phone yesterday.

“It was chaos on Sunday. We had to deploy,” Ndamage said, before adding “some churches have become a disgrace,” adding that  he had met several church leaders to end the standoff.

“It is very embracing. People who should be the custodians of morals are the same people washing their linen in public.”

Recently, a church-affiliated Non-Governmental Organisation- Ndengera organization claimed that every 14 seconds, a Rwandan child is orphaned by AIDS.

But on cross-checking, it was discovered that it’s a briefcase NGO not registered as it claims.

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