Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) Bishop by the name Joseph Kagunda of Mt Kenya West missed a jail sentence of 6 months narrowly. He ,however, spent over 10 minutes in custody.
This happened after a court in Nyeri found him guilt of contempt. Employment and Labour Relations judge Nzioki Makau found him guilty of disobeying court orders which had been issued by Justice Byram Ongaya 3 years ago.The 3 were sacked in 2015.
Justice Byram Ongaya had directed Bishop Kagunda to reinstate three clerics to their pastoral duties after he sacked them for allegedly engaging in homosexuality. In addition, he was told to pay them Sh6.8 million.He made the orders on the basis that the priests were suspended from their pastoral work without enough evidence.
Furthermore,Judge Ongaya ordered the ACK church to pay the 3 priests all their salaries from August 2015,
The 3 are :John Njogu Gachau, James Maina Maigua and Paul Mwangi Warui . Trusted reports say that Archdeacon Gachau was awarded Sh2,437,780, the Reverend Maigua Sh2,224,996 and the Rev Warui Sh2,219,814.
It was reported that the ACK applied to have execution of the judgment stayed, pending determination of an appeal seeking to overturn the court orders saying that the appeal would be rendered nugatory unless the order of stay was granted.
However, a bench of 3 Judges who include :Justices Phillip Waki, Roselyne Nambuye and Patrick Kiage ,dismissed the application .
On July 10, the Employment and Labour Relations court in Nairobi through Justice Makau had issued a warrant of arrest for Bishop Kagunda.
He was saved by his lawyer Wachira Nderitu who made an application to have the judge stay execution of orders by saying,“I plead with you to stay the execution of your earlier orders, bearing in mind my client is almost 60 years.”
Makau then ordered the Bishop to brought to court. The court ordered that the priests be reinstated by 10 am July 12 failure to which the stay orders would be lifted but the Bishop promised to comply.
A warrant of arrest against ACK managing director had been given for failing to fulfil a court order requiring the church to pay the Sh6.8 million.