The Rt Revd David Gitari, Bishop of Kirinyaga Diocese, has been elected Archbishop of the Church of the Province of Kenya by the Church's 210-person strong Electoral College.
The college has representatives from the 22 Anglican dioceses in the Province. Initially there were five candidates for the post. Bishop Horace Etemesi withdrew before polling started. Bishop Stephen Kewasis was eliminated in the first round of voting and bishop Benjamin Nzimbi was eliminated in the second round. This left Bishop Joseph Wasonga and Bishop David Gitari. Bishop Gitari won by a two thirds majority in the final voting.
The new primate who is 58 years old, has been acting leader of the CPK since the retirement of Archbishop Manasses Kuria in 1994. The All Africa Press Service reported that Among the candidates Gitari is the most senior diocesan head in the Church in terms of the number of years he has served as well as the position he currently occupies. He became Bishop of Kinrinyaga Diocese in Eastern Province in 1975.
The most immediate task of the new Primate will be the resolution of conflict in Kajado Diocese where the Bishop Elect Bernard Njoroge is yet to be consecrated.
Bishop Gitari is not afraid of controversy both within and outside Church circles. Soon after he was elected, Bishop Gitari declared he would adopt a bold approach to Church matters and other issues.