Muhuri calls for probe into another alleged
cult-like church in Kwale
Muslim for human rights organisation (Muhuri) has alleged of another cult-like church in Msambweni, Kwale where worshippers of the Rainbow Ministries Church are said to be hiding in Vumbo village, the forest where they conduct their services.
Muhuri Rapid Response Officer Francis Auma claims so far, more than 200 church members have fled their homes and are now living in a forest to evade police arrest. They accuse the police of regular harassment and arbitrary arrests after the church was closed.
“Our Rapid Response team has been at Vumbu village in Msambweni sub-county for three days for a fact-finding mission on religious cult allegations related to Rainbow Ministries Church,” Ouma said yesterday.
Muhuri claims a section of church members has been arrested by police in Msambweni and are awaiting to be arraigned today. Muhuri said it’s closely working with police to ensure those hiding come out. “We witnessed more than 200 church members who have fled their homes and are now living in a forest. They accuse the police of regular harassment and arbitrary arrests. The worshipers are also said to deny children attending schools and hospitals.
“Already 12 of the church members have been arrested by the police. Of these, two are adults, and the other 10 are children. The adults are locked up in a police cell in Msambweni, while the children are in children’s home. They await their arraignment in court on Monday, May 8,” he said. According to Auma, the Rainbow Ministries is accused of allegedly preaching extremist religious beliefs and practices, such as not seeking medical care or taking children to school.
“We demand that the security operation and probe of the church members is done within the confines of the law. The police and all other security agents doing this operation must respect the human rights of these people and follow the law. We also demand that the children who are arrested be released,” Ouma stated.
He added: “We also ask the church members to come out of the bushes where they are hiding and help the police with investigations where there may be a need. We are keeping a close eye on this development to ensure that no right is violated and the rule of law is upheld,”
Muhuri field officer Abdulrahman Mwangoka also claimed the matter has been taken up by police and DCI in Msambweni for more follow up. Church Pastor Joyce Mkumbi Shida, 24, is said to have been arrested and taken to Portreitz Hospital for medical checkup before being detained at the Diani Police Station.
Matter has been taken by DCI and Msambweni Sub-County Deputy County Commissioner.