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‘Pastor from hell’ burns minors for stealing cakes

While Jesus proclaimed that the kingdom of God belongs to children, a man of the cloth in Baringo County could send them to hell, given a chance.

The nation is in shock after a highly respected pastor allegedly scalded three minors who stole a packet of cakes from his bakery worth Sh80 on Tuesday night.

The minors from Kaptimbor village, an informal settlement on the outskirts of Kabarnet town, are nursing serious burn injuries at the County Referral Hospital following the ordeal.

The man of God and his staff allegedly stripped the minors naked before burning their legs in an oven as punishment for the “rampant theft at the bakery”. The mischievous children — two Form Two students and a Standard Eight pupil — were rendered immobile after the incident. One of the boys, who was allegedly caught with a packet of the cakes, does menial work at the bakery during the weekends.

“I was stripped naked and beaten up. The three men at the bakery then held me with my legs on the top of the oven even as I kept pleading for forgiveness. They continued until I had no energy anymore. They then forced me to name my accomplices. I had no option but to name two of my friends to be released,” said the Form Two student.

The two were picked up from their homes in the dead of night and subjected to the same cruel punishment. Ms Vivian Bungei, who lives near the bakery, said she heard desperate screams at midnight and the relentless barking of dogs, prompting her to get out and inquire what was happening.

“When I opened the door, I realised the noises were near coming from the bakery and I went closer. I found the three naked boys writhing in pain, with their legs seriously burnt. Three men, including the pastor, were there. I asked them what had happened to the children and they replied that they deserved the punishment because they are thieves,” said Ms Bungei.

The cleric claimed he had incurred heavy losses due to rampant theft.

“I raised the alarm and neighbours came out. I asked the bakery staff to clothe the boys who were completely naked before we took them to hospital,” she said.

“What those children underwent is inhuman. They were tortured. I am angered that despite being a pastor, he could not think of a better way to resolve the problem. He shouldn’t have tortured the boys,” she added.

Ms Margaret Tarus, the mother of one of the boys, said she received a call on Wednesday morning that her son had been admitted to hospital.

“My son and I sleep in different houses. He left the main house after dinner at 9pm. When I got to the hospital, I was informed that he was among the suspects who steal cakes at a nearby bakery and had been picked up at night. Even if the children stole cakes, why did they subject them to such barbaric acts?” she posed.

Baringo County Referral Hospital medical superintendent Garishon Abakalwa said the minors sustained serious burns on their lower limbs but are in stable condition.

“One of them had third degree burns. But we are monitoring his progress to ascertain if we should conduct surgery or not. The other two have second degree burns and they will be okay,” said Dr Abakalwa.

Confirming the incident, Baringo County Police Commander Adamson Bungei said the two main suspects, Joseph Mduma, a pastor, and Daniel Cherop, have been arrested are in custody in Kabarnet, awaiting arraignment.

“We are saddened that the pastor and his casual workers decided to take law into their hands. We have arrested them and they will be arraigned. The three minors are recuperating in hospital,” said Mr Bungei.