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Kenyan Govt attempts to give Catholic schools to Protestant body

In a new twist to the long struggle for control of the country's schools, the Kenyan government is seeking to remove parochial schools from the Catholic Church, and hand them over to the African Independent Pentecostal Churches of Africa (AIPCA).

Education minister Marsden Madoka said the government would hand over 328 schools to the AIPCA, so that the Protestant group could instill discipline in the students.

The Catholic hierarchy has responded by warning AIPCA not to become involved.

"We will not sit back and let our schools be taken away," warned the chairman of the Kenya episcopal conference, Bishop John Njue. He said that Church would protect its schools and adamantly oppose any effort by the government to wrest away control.

Accusing the AIPCA of accepting political exploitation by the government of President Daniel Arap Moi, Bishop Njue said the Church "shall not give up our schools."

But the AIPCA leader, Archbishop Samson Gaitho has also said that he would not relent, "until we take over the schools."

The General Secretary of the National Christian Council of Kenya, the Rev. Mutava Musyimi, commented that the government wanted to pit the churches against each other.

"Somebody somewhere wants to keep the churches busy fighting each other so that they cannot concentrate on more important matters concerning the nation," he said.