Two churches in Makenya and Murukwa within Murang’a county have been razed to the ground, leaving both congregants and the public in disbelief.
The affected churches, Thibethel and Wafuasi wa Akorino East Africa Israel, were demolished under the assertion that they occupied public land earmarked for the government’s affordable housing project.
Thibethel church has been completely dismantled, while the East Africa Israel church, situated on a 5-acre plot for the past 30 years, remains partially demolished. The destruction has left windows, roofs, doors, and other church components scattered outside.
Simon Wamwea, a devoted member of one of the churches, expressed his astonishment at the sudden demolitions during a press briefing. Wamwea disclosed that he had been a resident of the area for three decades, worshiping in the same church. He emphasized that their claim to the land had been endorsed by the former Murang’a county governor, Mwangi Wa Iria, who assured them the freedom to worship without fear of eviction.
Wamwea voiced his discontent with the government’s handling of the land issue, pointing out the lack of prior notice to the church members about the impending demolitions. He shared his frustration, stating, “I have been here in Mackenzie for thirty years, and during that time, the first Governor Mwangi Wa Iria is the one who gave us this place, and no one could remove us. Today, I am being told to leave, and the church is being demolished, but I was not informed of when I should leave, whether in days or hours. I am being summoned and told that the church is being demolished.”
Other members echoed Wamwea’s sentiments, noting that, for years, no one had raised concerns about the church’s presence on the land. Suddenly, the government claims ownership.
County Governor Dr. Irungu Kang’ata, through a media statement, distanced himself from the ongoing demolitions, asserting that he is not involved in the process.
Residents are now questioning the government’s actions, highlighting the fact that they are left without a place of worship due to the demolitions.