• Those who have proclaimed themselves as gods and prophets include the famous Jehovah Wanyonyi, Yesu wa Tongaren and Yohana Tano Nabii.
• Lusaka called on the government to continue harrowing and uneathing the Shakahola massacre stemming from the spiritual manipulation by cults.
False prophets and gods are not new to Kenya, or Africa, or the US, Japan and elsewhere.
Even before the Shakahola cult deaths came to light some Kenyans have been making fun of 'Yesu wa Tongaren' — a man who is identifying himself as Jesus Christ.
Bungoma has been home to some of these false gods and self-proclaimed prophets.
Those who have proclaimed themselves deities and their spokesmen include the famous Jehovah Wanyonyi, Yesu wa Tongaren and Yohana Tano Nabii.
The latest one to hit the headlines referring to himself as Jesus is the Tongaren man, Eliud Wekesa.
Wekesa argues that he received god’s power and he can heal, prophesy and perform miracles.
Both church leaders and political leaders from the Western region have ganged up against Wekesa criticising him for masquerading as Jesus.
Yohana Tano Nabii a ‘prophet’ from Nandolia village, Bukembe East in Bungoma county is a renowned ‘prophet’ in Western region.
Nabii who was born in 1940 in current Saboti in Trans Nzoia county relocated to Bungoma County.
He said he relocated to Bungoma when he was eight years old and abandoned his family to serve the Lord.
“Serving the lord is something that I started a long time ago and I have never given up,” he said, adding he has been in service for 62 years.
Nabii said that God gave him the ability to prophesy, pray for the sick and treat patients using herbal medicines.
He told the Star he has prayed for millions of people from all over the world who have been healed.
He said per year he attends to more than 70,000 people from all over the world, from morning to evening.
“By 5am I am always up ready to serve the people of God, I normally wake up in the morning to serve the people who come from the entire world for my services,” he said.
Nabii attends to clients free of charge, saying it was a gift given to him by God and he won't let clients pay him.
“Since I started serving as the prophet I have never asked anybody to pay me but after they have gotten healed they normally come back, bring me presents and say 'thank you',"Nabii said.
He said he treats cancer, HIV and Aids, leprosy, wounds as well as small ailments.
“I have met with different patients battling different diseases and they have healed after I prayed for them and gave them herbs,” he said. He also unites with women and men who divorced.
Nabii revealed he has his own bible which he uses to teach his followers at Muungano Church for all nations. He also has his own flag with 11 colours.
He added that he decided to come up with his own bible after realising that the world is "rotten" and people aren’t following Jesus' teachings.
“All my services are linked to the bible, I am the only God’s man who will change the gospel of this world, “he said.
Nabii has five residential areas: two in Bungoma (in Nandolia and Matulo in Webuye), Kitale, Lugari in Kakamega.
He said he has 42 wives and 289 children.
“I have a big farm and enough resources to finance my family, I will still marry other wives in future,” he said.
Nabii has his own church on the compound with wards to admit patients with serious ailments.
“These herbs sometimes have side effects, therefore in my compound I have set aside some rooms where patients can rest and prayers,” he said.
After praying for the sick he moves to River Chwele river and baptises them in water, saying that it’s a way of washing awaytheir sins.
Bungoma leaders led by Governor Ken Lusaka are now asking the Director of criminal investigations (DCI) to summon and investigate Eliud Wekesa alias Yesu wa Tongaren after the Shakahola massacre in Kilifi county.
Lusaka dismissed Wekesa for calling himself as Jesus, saying he should be summoned to answer questions if he is linked to cultic behaviours like 'Pastor' Paul Mackenzie of Kilifi.
The county boss condemned the Shakahola massive killings saying that they are against God's teachings calling on the public to be vigilant about the kind of churches they attend.
"As leaders we received the Shakahola incident in shock and dismay. It is very unfortunate because many people have lost their loved ones due to cultic practices," Lusaka said.
Lusaka, however, disowned Yesu wa Tongaren. arguing Bungoma has produced senior men of God of are now serving the great nation of Kenya.
"Bungoma is a home of the men of God such as Bishop Philip Anyolo, Bishop Eliud Wabukala, Cardinal Otunga just to name a few. We cannot allow a few people to taint the name of Bungoma," he said.
Other leaders from the region who have criticised Yesu wa Tongaren, calling for the speedy investigations, include Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale and Kimilili lawmaker Didmus Barasa.
Lusaka called in the government to continue harrowing and unearthing the Shakahola massacre caused by spiritual manipulation by by cultic practices.
Bishops drawn from Bungoma county have also asked the government to take stern action against Kilifi cultic perpetrators that have caused the deaths of many innocent Kenyans.
Bungoma Interfaith Chairman Bishop Calistus Barasa condemned the act of murder and senseless massacre of innocent Kenyans that has been reported in Shakahola in the strongest terms possible.
“We find this cultic act led by ‘Pastor Paul Mackenzie’ to be utterly despicable, immoral, and irreligious and against every Christian tenet and any other human acceptable in the society,” he said.
Barasa added that what has been unearthed is against the right to life as enshrined in the Holy Scriptures and the Constitution of Kenya. He said Article 26 clearly spells out that every person has the right to life and a person shall not be deprived of life intentionally.
He added, however, that the ongoing alleged cultic practice in Shakahola Malindi under Mackenzie is clear abuse and misuse of religion and despicable exploitation of innocent and unsuspecting citizens.
In addition, Barasa urged Kenyans to utterly dissociate with any such religious organization, church or fellowship.
“What has been experienced is cultic and we encourage Kenyans to be vigilant and implore the security operators to do the job and bring every perpetrator associated with such a cult to book," he said.
Barasa also urged the investigating agencies to quickly investigate, apprehend and bring to account all accomplices and murderers.
“We plead with the prosecution and the judiciary while dealing with these individuals to apply strict measures applicable to terrorism, genocide and crimes against humanity,” he said.
The bishops further advised the government to empower the recognised umbrella organisations to streamline self-regulation for the common good and order in churches.
“As main faith religious organizations, we have a clear code of conduct for all our members and together with others, would love to launch a universal code of conduct for all churches in the coming days,” he said.
Bungoma county NCCK chairman Bishop George Mechumo said the government should not take advantage of the Kilifi cultic practice to suppress the church, but instead find ways to regulate it.
“This Mackenzie issue has really generated different discussions from people and organisations, he said. Therefore, our leaders should be on the forefront to give directions."
(Edited by V. Graham)