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Business as usual at Victor Kanyari’s Nairobi church amid tight security

NAIROBI
By Cyrus Ombati | November 9th 2014

NAIROBI: Embattled Salvation Healing Ministry preacher Victor Kanyari went on with service at his church in the city amid tight security by hired men.

The service at Cross Road in Nyamakima area went on as usual but those who went in had to be vetted and screened by a group of youths who stood on the staircase heading to fourth floor of the church.

The youth chased away journalists who tried to venture into the church saying they were spoilers.

"These are journalists and should not be allowed in. Where are you going?" one of them shouted before the journalists faked saying they were going to an electronic shop on the second floor.

And in fear of being harmed, the journalists left the place.

In the meantime, shouts of praises and music emanated from the church as the other worshippers went on with their businesses.

The development came in the wake of investigations that have been launched into claims of fraud.

Police revealed they plan to first summon some of the worshippers who had claimed they were fleeced and conned by the pastor in the name of getting healing.

"He will also have to talk to us on this issue because it threatens the society at large," said a senior officer who is aware of the probe.

The Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko has ordered Kanyari investigated for allegedly obtaining money by false pretences.

This follows last Sunday's exposé by KTN's Inside Story and Jicho Pevu, which revealed the wily ways of the wayward self-proclaimed prophet.

Kanyari was recorded on camera coaching his staff to hoodwink his unsuspecting church, radio and television audiences into believing he was capable of performing miracles to solve all manner of problems so long as people "sowed the seed".

For only Sh310, the pastor, who is now on every Kenyan's lips, promised to cure all manner of diseases including HIV and Aids, find jobs for the unemployed, and paraded different people who had allegedly benefited from his miracles.

A day after the story was aired, a song titled 'Pasta Mjanja' (cunning pastor) was released. The preacher, who has been unapologetic about his 'panda mbegu' (sow a seed) scheme, explained that he had never forced anybody to send him money.

He, however, admitted in a local daily to having coached his staff to give fake testimonies.

Kanyari is the son of 'Prophetess' Lucy Nduta, who was jailed for two years for fraud after she was exposed by a local daily for faking healing.

The evangelical churches have urged the state to crack down on conmen preachers who fake miracles to defraud their unsuspecting flocks.

The umbrella group Evangelical Alliance of Kenya called on law enforcers to ensure those who  misuse the word of God to swindle believers are punished according to law.

"Those are wolves in sheepskin whose conduct is that of charlatans and conmen, and they should be dealt with in accordance with the law, just like other criminals," said Bishop Mark Kariuki at a press conference in Nairobi Friday.

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