The Lego Maria Church in Migori experienced a dramatic clash that led to four people losing their lives.
The church experienced chaos as members had their annual pilgrimage to the ‘holy hill’. In a bid to calm the situation, the police used tear gas on the public as well as opening live fire.
In the process, four people lost their lives and scores were injured. The chaos also led to a car being burnt down as well as others getting pelted by stones.
Cause of chaos.
The chaos was as a result of an ongoing rivalry between two groups. One group supports the church’s pope Raphael Adika while another supports rival Raphael Ochieng.
Ochieng’s supporters disagreed with Adika’s leadership and want Ochieng to take over as the pope. However, Adika’s supporters disagreed.
At the time of chaos, Adika’s supporters were on their way to the church’s headquarters where the body of pope Melkio Ondeto lays. However, Ochieng’s supporters were timing them, and on their arrival, they started pelting Adika’s supporters with stones.
Ochieng’s supporters, however, claimed that Adika’s supporters had disrupted them from their prayers.
“We were doing our annual pilgrimage, and it has been peaceful. Unfortunately, a group we separated with several years ago invaded our prayers,” stated Cardinal Francis Limo.
The police tried shooting in the air as well as lobbying teargas to disperse the crowds.
Ever since Ondeto passed away 27 years ago, the Lego Maria Church has experienced severe internal wrangles. Consequently, the church split into two groups; one led by Ochieng the other led by Adika.