A sex scandal involving Prophet David Owuor’s former bishop and women in the Repentance and Holiness Ministry has emerged.
Bishop Joseph Gitonga — Owuor’s long-term personal assistant and head of security — has since been expelled from the church.
Gitonga, who was serving as the Bishop of the Kasarani branch, was ex-communicated on Sunday after several women in the church claimed they had been having sex with him.
Gitonga was the second most powerful person in the ministry after Prophet Owuor who is adored by the faithful as ‘the Mightiest Prophet of the Lord’.
He was among the few church top brass who had direct contact with Owuor and served as the link between the prophet and other bishops.
Gitonga managed several church projects and coordinated programmes and events including the crusades the prophet has been having across the country.
“This is an official communication that you Joseph Gitonga are forthwith excommunicated from the glorious Ministry of Repentance and Holiness with immediate effect together with your family and you are not allowed to congregate with this holy ministry of the Lord,” reads a notice authored by senior archbishop John Litunda.
The notice was copied to the National Council of Bishops — the church’s top decision making organ and all pastors.
Lawyer Okongo Omogeni, speaking on behalf of the National Council of Bishops, confirmed the excommunication of Bishop Gitonga.
“There were indecent sinful acts that were taking place within the church that led to his expulsion. There were victims who confessed, that is why the Bishop and the board met to take that action,” he told the Star.
However, several attempts to get a comment from Bishop Gitonga were futile as he did not respond to three messages and several calls to his mobile phone.
The prophet intervened in the matter after some members of the Kasarani church complained to him about Gitonga’s alleged actions.
During the service, the women narrated how Gitonga had been praying and smearing anointing oil on every part of their bodies including their private parts.
The Star has obtained exclusive audio clips of the women’s confessions during one of the Sunday services.
“ … Akaenda na akaniombea bila nguo. Alinipaka mafuta mwili mzima mpaka sehemeu za siri. Akatoa mwili yake, sehemu yake ya siri… (loosely translated as…..he prayed for me while I was naked. He smeared the anointing oil in my entire body including private parts before lowering his pants….” a woman is heard confessing.
In another clip, a woman who had problems in marriage is heard saying she had sex with Gitonga in his Langata home.
“Nilikua napitia shida kwenye ndoa yangu, nikapigia bishop akaniambia niende kwake, mahali alikuwa anaishi Langata….. bishop akakuja chini usiku kama saa tano akaniambia anataka kuniombea akaniambia nitoe nguo zote akachukua anointing oil akapaka kwa mwili wangu yote nikiwa uchi. (I had marital problems and I called bishop and he told me to visit his home in Lang’ata. He came down at about 11 o’clock and told me to remove my clothes…….” .
On Tuesday, the Star managed to reach one of the women who was only identified as Caro.
She declined to comment on the incident and whether she had reported to the police.
Instead, she asked the Star to speak to the church leadership. “I cannot talk about it right now. Maybe you come [to church] on Sunday. You talk to the higher authority. They will give you the whole information,” she said.
Immediately after the Sunday service, Litunda sent out a notice to all bishops warning them against sharing the confessions with anybody “as the enemy may take advantage of it”.
When reached on Tuesday, Litunda said he was in a meeting and promised to call back. He had not called back by 7pm yesterday despite several phone calls seeking comment.
Three other bishops, who are the members of the National Council of Bishops, declined to comment and referred reporters to senior archbishop Litunda.
Some church members claimed the women could have been coached to lie against Gitonga.
On Wednesday, the Kasarani church had been brought down under unclear circumstances. When the Star visited the place, the tent had already come down.
Youth and church members were loading the tents and other equipment into a white canter.
“We have guns, we can shoot you. Try what you want to do you and you see,” a man told the Star photographer at the scene.
Two bishops oversaw the exercise.
Last Sunday, bishops headed by Litunda went to the Kasarani church to instal Erick Simiyu as the new bishop.