A pastor has found himself in hot soup after he drew a pistol and threatened casual workers on a disputed piece of land in Ruai.
John Njaria Mutunga (pictured) claims he drew the gun in self-defence after sensing that his life was in danger.
The nominated director of Embakasi Ranching Company however denied he is a pastor. He claimed that residents mistake him for an ordained priest because “I am always invited to pray for people in church and at functions, so they (locals) assume I am a pastor.”
He is accused of engaging in the gun drama with workers contracted by Grace Wanjiru, a businesswoman locked in the ownership dispute with another pastor, Patrick Maweu Makewa, of Redeemed Gospel Church.
Both Wanjiru and Maweu claim ownership of the quarter-acre piece of land within Githunguri farm. The matter is in court, which issued a 10-day restraining order against Wanjiru.
The woman claims she had hired the workers after the order elapsed.
Maweu is said to have enlisted the services Njamka Security associated with Njaria, to enforce the order upon learning that construction was going on. Maweu declined to be drawn into the March 12 gun drama.
“The matter is in court. I don’t want us to discuss it. About the gun incident, it is you and him (Njaria), don’t involve me please,” she stated.
Njaria is said to have arrived at the construction site accompanied by his security guards with dogs in tow while brandishing the pistol and court order. He allegedly ordered the 12 workers to vacate the site or face dire consequences.
He was non-committal on whether he is licensed to carry a gun and denied enforcing a court order. Njaria claims he had rushed to the rescue of the guards who were under threat.
“I was driving to town when I noticed the road had been barricaded with stones a few metres ahead. I stopped and stepped out of the car only to discover that my guards were being harassed,” said Njaria.
The man claims he drew the gun when the construction workers surrounded him.
“I never threatened anybody. I only acted in self defence,” insisted the dog trainer.
Both parties recorded statements at Ruai Police Station. In his statement, Njaria denied any wrongdoing, while the labourers said the former threatened them with the gun and dogs. Court orders are normally enforced by the police.
Kayole OCPD Joseph Gichangi said the matter was under investigation.
“The pastor (Maweu) thought it wise to hire Njaria, and as he was deploying his guards, the construction workers charged at him. He was forced to draw the gun before police officers arrived and restored order,” explained the police boss.
A Milimani magistrate ordered both parties to keep off the land when Wanjiru and Maweu appeared in court on March 15.
According to documents, Maweu was sold the land on December 19, 2009 by Jack Kamau Wachira, a surveyor working for Embakasi Ranching Company.
On her part, Wanjiru claims that the land is part of parcels on the farm that belonged to his grandfather the late Gachuhi Njuguna who acquired it in 1974.
“I have the original share certificates, which have been verified and found to be authentic by the board of Embakasi Ranching that facilitated the transfers after I bought some of the plots from my grandmother,” she said.