A former convict shed tears when he learnt that a neighbour who had implicated him in a defilement case had fled his home soon after he was jailed.
Bernard Momanyi's accuser and his family reportedly fled to escape the wrath of residents who accused him of fabricating lies.
Momanyi, 44, told a Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Church congregation in Nyamaiya, West Mugirango, on Saturday he was keen to make peace with his accuser, but was saddened by news that he had fled his home.
He was handed a 20-year jail term for defiling a neighbour's 14-year-old daughter in 2006.
However, he was freed from Migori GK Prison after serving only 12 years. He was initially jailed at Kodiaga Prison in Kisumu before his transfer to Migori.
Villagers said they did not understand why his neighbour had him sent to jail. But Momanyi attributed his woes to a land dispute he had with the said neighbour.
Momanyi was escorted to church by his wife Judith Mbula and children Faith Moraa, a First Year student at the University of Nairobi and Steve Momanyi who is in Form Two. He was also accompanied by several prison officers.
SDA church officials and villagers were at hand to receive Momanyi in church.
He told the congregation he had forgiven his accuser and wanted to make peace with him despite the fact that he had fabricated a lie against him.
Momanyi insisted he was set up because of a land dispute with his neighbour.
"I was jailed over trumped-up charges. It was a set up, well choreographed to convince the court I had committed the offence. But I have emerged from prison victorious," he said.
Momanyi unsuccessfully appealed the sentence.
"Being a Christian, I did not trouble myself with many questions when I was sent to jail," said Momanyi.
West Mugirango chief Livingston Mabuka, who was among those who received Momanyi back home, said he did not know where Momanyi's accuser disappeared. But he lauded Momanyi for forgiving the man.
Ms Damarice Bosibori, who represented the Prisons Department during the homecoming said: "From the day he was received in Kodiaga Prison in Kisumu, Momanyi has been enjoying preferential treatment because of his good conduct. This made him earn the highest rank as a trustee prisoner."
"Momanyi was one of the few prisoners who was never reported to the prisons authorities for misconduct," said Bosibori.
Momanyi's wife Mbula and children were overcome with emotions when he arrived home.
"Life has not been easy for us, but we thank God who has been our ever present help. Our children have been able to go to school even in his absence," said Mbula.
Moraa, Momanyi's first born, was only seven when her father was jailed, while her brother was four.
Moraa and Steve said it had been tough for them; being away from their father for 12 years.
Momanyi left prison with 10 certificates in various courses; a diploma in Counselling and Bible Studies and certificates in food preparation and tailoring among others.
Before he was sent to jail, Momanyi was a bursar at Nyamaiya Secondary School. He is a Certified Public Accountant, having attained Part Two certification.
He is appealing to anyone or company with a job opening to offer him an opportunity.
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