46 Kabonokia sect members jailed up to one year for evading census
A Marimanti court in Tharaka-Nithi County has jailed 46 members of the Kabonokia sect for between six and 12 months for refusing to be enumerated in the just concluded national census.
Fifty of them from Karocho, Thiiti and Kathangacini locations were Wednesday arraigned in court and charged with failing to provide information to census officials for enlisting, lack of National Identity Cards and others declining to be taken finger prints during interrogation by police.
Four of the believers were released by the court after pleading guilty and accepting to be enlisted while the other 46 maintained that their religious doctrines do not allow them to participate in ‘earthly’ activities.
Before the court’s Senior Resident Magistrate Stephen Nyaga, two of them from Karocho location in Tharaka South Sub County were jailed for one year with an option of paying a fine of Sh200, 000 for the counts of declining to be counted and for lack of National Identity cards.
“Failure to pay Sh200,000 fine, you will serve one year in prison, six months for declining to be counted and the other six for lack of National Identity Cards,” said Mr Nyaga.
Twenty five women and 17 men from Thiiti and Kathangacini locations in Tharaka North Sub County were sentenced to six months in prison or pay a fine of Sh100, 000 for the count of declining to be enumerated.
The last two were imprisoned for eight months for failing to be counted and declining to be taken finger prints during interrogation by police.
Kabonokia sect members do not participate in ‘earthly’ activities such as census and election exercises arguing that they are sinful and are only meant for sinners.
Their doctrines do not also allow them to seek medical service when sick or even allow their newborn babies immunised.
They do not also go to school or even use a mobile phone.
They believe that education is an earthly activity and that sick people should pray God for healing.
“According to Kabonokia believers, seeking doctor’s services is putting ones trust in a human being instead of God,” Mr James Mutegi a former Kabonokia believer told the Nation.