Deliverance Church has denied that a man who who allegedly burned three school boys for stealing Sh80 packet of cakes at his bakery in Kaptimbor village, at the outskirts of Kabarnet town in Baringo County last week was one of its pastors.
Reverend John Sawe, the Kerio sub-region overseer said the suspect, Joseph Mduma, was not a pastor but worshiped at the church in the past before he left.
The clergyman condemned the incident, adding that the punishment meted out on the minors was inhuman and against the norms and virtues advocated for by the church.
“We are saddened by the reports that some boys were burned over accusations of theft and we condemn the incident with the strongest terms possible,” he said.
“The suspect, who is being referred to as a pastor is not one in the first place. He was just a worshiper in our church in the past before he left. All our clerics have identification cards and they are known by the public,” said Reverend Sawe.
He said Deliverance Church has elaborate structures and its ministers have virtues. “Whoever was being featured in the media platforms is not a pastor in our Kabarnet church and we do not have any other branch within the town,” stated the cleric.
Pastor Henry Kipng’ok of Kabarnet Deliverance church said they have procedures on how to ordain ministers, indicating that Mduma was just a pianist at the said church before he left.
“We ordain ministers and the man supposedly said to be a pastor in this church was a pianist some years back and he disappeared. We want to tell the world that he is not one of our clergy as purported. The media should also stop defaming Deliverance Church because we have a name that we have built for a long time,” said Pastor Kipng’ok.
The suspect and his co-suspect, Daniel Cherop, his casual worker, are accused of burning three minors for allegedly stealing a Sh80 packet of cakes at their bakery on Tuesday night.
The duo, with another suspect who is still at large are said to have burned the feet of the boys who are recuperating at the Baringo County Referral Hospital with serious burn injuries.
Reports indicate that one of the boys, who normally does menial work at the bakery during weekends, was caught with one packet of the cakes at around 9pm on Tuesday by the owner, who is a pastor at one of the local churches in the locality.
The student was allegedly beaten by two casual workers at the site and the cleric before his legs were placed in an oven to burn, as punishment for stealing the rock cakes.
The boy who was writhing in pain at the health facility said he was beaten on claims that he was the one behind the rampant theft at the bakery after was found with the cakes.
The victims, including a standard eight candidate, were picked in their homes while sleeping and subjected to the same punishment while naked.
Baringo County Referral Hospital Medical Superintendent Garishon Abakalwa said the trio sustained serious burns on their lower limbs but are in stable condition.
He said one had third degree burns and the medical team was monitoring his progress to ascertain if a surgery would be necessary.
“The other two have second degree burns and they will be okay,” said Dr Abakalwa.
The suspects were arrested and arraigned in court on Thursday and are being held at Kabarnet police station.
They are expected to be presented in court on Tuesday to take a plea.