By Paul Mutua
You would not tell it simply by looking at these ordinary looking folk, but their lives are lived on a knife’s edge believing a capricious god wants them and their loved ones to die of curable diseases. They claim a measles outbreak that has thrust them back into the public limelight is due to “satanic forces”.
Their faith has been tested time and again, often with fatal results for the youngest and the oldest among them. Now, they wage a losing battle against the State, which will not let them impose their beliefs on their children in the heat of a measles outbreak. It is a battle that has been fought before, but nothing changes.
The Kavonokya sect adherents in Mwingi District of Kitui County are at loggerheads with the Government over alleged persecution of their faith that prohibits medication. They demand the Provincial Administration and police to tolerate their belief that prohibits them from seeking medication from hospital when they fall ill.
They maintain that they believe in divine healing as prescribed in the Bible. The sect says their stand, which is not shared by most other Bible-believing Christians, cannot be compromised at whatever cost. Sect Elder David Mathuva said the arrest and prosecution of some members for neglecting sick children would not change their beliefs.
“We shall abide by the sect’s beliefs come rain or shine,” Mr Mathuva said. “Forceful hospitalisation of our children will not change our resolve.”
They held an open crusade at Malili village in Kamuwongo Division, Kyuso District to tell the Government to go slow on them. Mutua Kiteme, who led the sermon, said the issue of forceful hospitalisation of the sect members’ children was disturbing them and that the Government should keep off their affairs.
Mr Kiteme said the members were law abiding except on the issue of medical care and medication. “This issue is pivotal in our doctrine and doctors and other professionals dealing in medicine and drugs are not allowed as members.”
Kiteme said the recent deaths of Kavonokya sect followers’ children from measles in various parts of Mwingi that saw some of them forced to go to hospital was the work of evil and satanic forces.
He noted that the sect members do not fear death because no one would stop it, thus the reason why morgues had been put up in hospitals. He added that divine intervention was soon to deal with dark powers tormenting the sect members.
Steadfast in faith
The preacher urged the adherents to remain steadfast in their faith. “Do not to be moved by any form of persecution as divine intervention will eventually bail you out,” he told them.