Looks can indeed be deceiving, as demonstrated by the case of Nicholas Kiprono, a young man currently serving a 14-year sentence at the Naivasha Medium Security Prison after being arrested for acting as a pastor's hitman.
During a recent interview with a local TV station, Kiprono revealed the astonishing sequence of events that led to his arrest and subsequent imprisonment.
It all began when he first encountered the pastor at his local church, where he was a devout member. Over several years, a strong bond developed between them, carefully nurtured by the pastor. He earned Kiprono's trust by entrusting him with seemingly innocent tasks, like letting him drive his car.
However, the true nature of this relationship became shockingly apparent when the pastor, having solidified their connection, recruited Kiprono as a hitman.
He recounted feeling an unusual sense of camaraderie with the pastor, being the only person aware of the priest dark secrets, which involved exploiting the congregation and settling personal vendettas.
Kiprono's involvement in the pastor's activities began when he was asked to carry out a chilling task – kidnapping a woman from their church.
"He had a rule that no lady would be allowed in his car so as not to create a lot of attention, so he would give me instructions to bring the lady to him. I admit I was not a good person so I would carry out instructions as per his request," he said.
According to Kiprono's narrative, the pastor instructed him to abduct a specific woman and bring her to his residence on a designated night.
Without questioning the priest's orders, Kiprono tracked the lady's movements as she headed home, seized her, and transported her to the pastor's home. He then left her there and departed.
Kiprono made it clear that he remained oblivious to the fate of the lady after that point, as he merely executed the tasks assigned to him and walked away from the situation.
In another instance, he said that the church leader ordered him to kill another local who he had differences with. According to Kiprono, the pastor was precise in the way he wanted the murder carried out, directing him to use a knife to stab him several times.
"I created a plan and approached the person one particular night, I waited for him with a knife as I was given instructions to stab him severally. But somehow, I developed a conscience and was unable to do it. That night, I left the scene and rushed home," he stated.
Kiprono said that he explained to the priest that he was unable to carry out the mission, which infuriated him even further.
The convict described the church leader as a man of few words who normally showed little expressions in his face. He said that he would handle the situation himself, without revealing more details.
The convict disclosed that the pastor decided to give him another chance and kept doing dirty jobs for him.
However, the law ultimately caught up with him when he was instructed to steal items from the church after the pastor became livid over inadequate tithe. Per his account, the pastor wanted the congregants to meet his target of collecting Ksh50,000 on a weekend.
Kiprono's criminal activities came to a head the very next night when he attempted to carry out the kidnapping. However, his sinister plans took an unexpected turn when a group of young men, passing by the church, apprehended him in the act.
They promptly marched him to the police station, where he was presented with the stolen items as evidence of his misdeeds.
Acknowledging his wrongdoing, Kiprono admitted to the crime and spent the night in custody.
Subsequent investigations were conducted by the police, who reviewed the reports filed at the station and took into account public outrage. The inquiries ultimately led to Kiprono being positively identified as the mastermind behind a series of crimes that had plagued the town.
In response to these allegations, Kiprono maintained his innocence, but the judicial system found him guilty and sentenced him to 14 years in Naivasha Medium Prison
"Jail is not a place I would advocate for anyone, even my worst enemy. So I would advise Kenyans to be on their best behaviour," Kiprono, who has now reformed and is a pastor at the prison, stated.
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