Eight members of AIPCA Church in Ol kalou, Nyandarua county, spent Sunday night in police custody following a fight.
Five people were injured during the incident at the church at Uiguano in Rurii location.
Tens of others, including priests, camped at Ol kalou police station for the better part of Sunday night seeking to bail out those who were apprehended.
But Ol kalou OCS Mark Masinde said they could not be released as investigations were ongoing, and that more people could be arrested.
Chaos broke out after members of the Nyakiambi and Mugumo congregations went to Uiguano, where they allegedly attempted to prevent the priest on duty from conducting the service. They were with a pastor barred from leading the service due to ongoing wrangles.
Joyce Wanjiku, chair of the Nyakiambi group, said the banned cleric went to the pulpit in his full robe and lit the lamp.
“We asked why but the visiting men started beating us, hitting us with chairs and breaking property,” she said.
Member Ronald Kibuka said the visitors were armed with whips which they used to attack worshipers. He said they turned tables, and threw chairs around just before the service began, forcing them to call police.
Bethwell Mugo, from the Mugumo congregation, gave a different account.
He said they had been invited to Uiguano by ‘chairman’ Wairagu Macharia and did not have any suspicions until women rushed in from the kitchen screaming.
“They came to where we were seated and pushed the table. We rose to leave and it is at that point that a man called Ndung’u hit me with a chair while the women went for other men and started wrestling them.
“As we ran away, I was hit with a stone. We reported the matter to Ol kalou police before proceeding to JM Hospital where I was stitched and others treated. Our attackers went to police pretending they were the victims.”
Bishops Ayub Kigotho, and David Kiboi, who claim to be in charge of the Nyandarua North diocese, are being investigated in connection to the fracas.
They recorded statements with Nyandarua Central DCIO Stansellous Mwangi in the evening.
Speaking to journalists after recording statements, Kigotho and Kiboi called for peace among church members.
Kigotho said the incident at Uiguano was a “small mistake that should not have escalated into physical conflict”.
“It is normal for people to say we want this or that bishop,” he said and noted Christians should not fight as they are symbols of peace and unity.
“We should all join hands and wash these dirty things that have been in our church. We are very ready to do it.”
Kiboi said his desire is to see peaceful congregations,. He asked those fighting to remember they come from the same area and worship the same God.
“In case of disagreements, people should sit down and talk. We don’t want this to be repeated. Peace is paramount.”
Reports indicated that more people, including pastor Philip Muraya and former Rurii MCA Wahome Kamoche, would be questioned