- The police, through the DCI Kilifi North had made a miscellaneous application to hold the suspects for 14 days to conclude investigations to the death of two minors.
- Police believe the minors aged 11 and 13 died after their parents failed to take them to the hospital due to their faith.
A Kilifi court has given the police up to Monday to hold 11 suspects in relation to the deaths of two children who allegedly died as a result of religious indoctrination.
Kilifi senior principal magistrate Justus Kituku on Thursday ruled that the 11 who include parents to the deceased, should continue being in police custody until Monday when the police would give a status of their investigations.
Kituku said though it is a right under Article 49 of the constitution for an accused person to be granted bond, some circumstances may lead to the court denying them bond.
“Such factors as the complexity of the matter under investigation, the scope of the investigations, the seriousness of the offence under investigation, the relationship of the arrested persons and the victims, and would-be witnesses. In this case, there are allegations of religious indoctrination in the death of the minor, and as we have learned from the Shakahola issue, this scope of the investigations may be wide,” read part of the ruling.
The police, through the DCI Kilifi North had made a miscellaneous application to hold the suspects for 14 days to conclude investigations to the death of two minors.
Police believe the minors aged 11 and 13 died after their parents failed to take them to the hospital due to their faith.
They are members of the Kanisa la Mungu Neno la Kweli which believes in divine healing.
Members of the church do not believe in going to the hospital but only pray whenever sick.
Kilifi North Subcounty police commander Kenneth Maina said one of the minors died on Saturday at their home. The second one died on Sunday at the home of a member of the church where four other children had been taken to make sure they are not aware of the death of their sibling.
“We got a tip-off from a member of the public on Sunday about the suspected death of a minor and the people were planning to conceal the death. We managed to get to the place where they had congregated but the children had been whisked away. The body of the minor had also been removed. We arrested some and went to the homestead of the parents where we arrested the rest. By that time the parents hadn’t known of the death of the second child,” he said.
Maina said the religion does not have a physical building where they hold their services but every Sunday congregate in the compound of any member who will volunteer to host them.
“It is challenging to track them down because they do not have a church. Every time their service is conducted in a different location which could be even a different town. They move in Malindi, Mariakani Kaloleni and all other areas where they have membership,” he said.
The police applied to detain the suspects so that post mortem on the bodies can be conducted.
They are trying to unravel the whereabouts of the other children to rescue them and take them to hospital.
The 11th respondent is a taxi driver based in Kilifi.
The taxi was being used to transfer the body from the home to an unknown place. The death had not been reported to the police.
“After we went to the home where the second child had died, the taxi driver decided to take the body to the police because we were planning to erect roadblocks. We suspect he was taking the body somewhere else because the vehicle was driven to the police station from a totally different direction from the area he had collected the body,” Maina said.
“In this case, save for 11th respondent, all the others are related to the victims or members of the church, and as such I find the application meritorious,” Kituku said.