• Kwale DCI boss Wasike told the Star the six will be charged with trespass and denying children privacy, among other charges.Three others have not been arraigned.
• Msambweni police boss Francis Gachiki said the main complainants are from the Children’s Department and the Public Heath Department of the government.
Six leaders of the Rainbow Faith Ministries, located deep inside Vumbu Forest in Msambweni, Kwale, have been arraigned.
DCI officers on Sunday evening raided the premises and arrested the six, who are members of the church’s management committee. Three others were arrested but not arraigned on Monday.
Kwale DCI boss Wasike told the Star the six will be charge with trespass and denying children privacy, among other charges.
They police want the court to grant them 14 days to complete their investigations into the activities of the cult-like church.
“These are still preliminary investigations. We seek 14 more days to finish our investigations which will inform us on which additional charges to bring against them,” Wasike told the Star by phone on Monday.
By press time, the court had yet to pronounce itself on the matter.
Those arrested include Maj (Rtd) Humprey Nguma, a director at the church; pastor Fadhili Ngumbao; Charles Mdata; Simon Mbogah; Samson Mdata, Zakayo Kala, Sarah Lozi, Racheal Mdata and Abednego Mwangome Mwero.
Msambweni police boss Francis Gachiki said the main complainants are the Children’s Department and the Public Heath Department of the government.
The 26-year-old leader of the church, ‘Prophetess’ Joyce Mukumbi, on Monday taken to Port Reitz hospital in Mombasa for a psychiatric assessment. Psychiatrists refused to do it, saying they first need a court order.
On Sunday, Gachoki told the Star police got word about the church after officers from Kwale International Sugar Company called to complain about people who had invaded their land. Residents also complained strangers were living in the forest.
Ngumbao and Nguma said they are being persecuted because of their faith.
They said they have done nothing wrong and that allegations against them that they deny the children food, education and healthcare are false.
“Our children go to school and hospital when they get sick. We know there are enemies sent by their master the devil to make sure the word of God is not preached,” Ngumbao said.
On Monday, Muslims for Human Rights said the security agencies should be more proactive.
“People cannot invade someone’s land or live deep in the forest and establish themselves for more than a decade and police have no idea,” Muhuri rapid response officer Francis Auma said.
He said the Shakahola saga has jolted police officers who now are trying to save face by raiding different establishments.
“Now we see arrests and cases being registered. We have experience enough to see that in the past where when such arrests are made, many innocent people found themselves behind bars,” Auma said.
He said arbitrary arrests are not allowed by law in Kenya.
“If the police want to do any investigation or security operation, it must be within the confines of law and they must have concrete evidence before rushing someone to court,” Auma said.
He said during his three-day fact-finding mission in Vumbu, residents complained of harassment by police during the two-week investigations into the activities of the Rainbow Faith Ministries.
This forced some of them to hide in the forest.
(Edited by V. Graham