Confessions by former members and narration by survivors on Thursday, March 23, exposed a secret cult based in Malindi, Kilifi County.
The revelations came after the cult leader was apprehended on allegations of directing parents to starve two children to death to protect them from a looming catastrophe.
According to one of the survivors, the fasting was allegedly meant to assure children of ascension to heaven and save them from a looming calamity.
"He told me that they were being prepared to be buried because the other two had died and were interred at a specified place," the survivor's grandparent stated during an interview with Citizen TV.
"He stated that the leader of the religious institution informed them that there was a looming catastrophe which they were not allowed to witness," he added.
One sect member narrated being prohibited from going to work and seeking help for his family. He was compelled to ditch the sect due to its strict operation guidelines.
"I was not supposed to work or seek any help. I was barred from begging even for food and even fend for my family," he recalled.
According to TK (name withheld), a former deputy leader of the cult, education was considered a transgression. Those joining the religious institution were also expected to stop working and focus all their energies on invoking the name of a 'god'.
Seeking medical aid was allegedly abhorred by the sect leaders, thus compelling members to strictly abide by the set rules.
In explaining the starving of children, TK added that it was a ritual other believers were supposed to undergo in an arranged sequence.
The cult operations are based in a secretly guarded location in Kilifi County. The assembling hall is a grass-thatched house surrounded by a thick thicket.
Sect members erect human barriers to safeguard their secrets and operations.
Confirming the incident, Malindi sub-County police boss John Kemboi stated they rescued a third boy severely malnourished after going without food and water for 20 days.
"It wasn’t a fast; it was neglect. The law makes it clear that you have to provide food to children. When you lock your children in the house and the parents are the only ones who can leave, it stops being a fast and becomes starvation and neglect,” the police boss indicated.
Following the confessions, the Malindi Court ordered the exhumation of the minors' bodies for forensic analysis.
By the time of this publication, the sect leader had not responded to the allegations regarding his religious institution.
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