Police rescue 10 children confined since 2016 in a church in Meru

Education
A picture of a Shakahola detention victim. 10 children were rescued from a church facility in Meru.

Police officers in Buuri West Sub-county in Meru County have rescued 10 minors who were being held illegally by a church facility since 2016.

Following the incident, the Directorate of Criminal Investigation officers (DCI) has launched investigations to establish the circumstances leading to the confinement.

Buuri West Police Commander James Musyimi said the detention facility, which is located in Timau, was found holding 10 children aged between 13-16 years.

He said the rescue mission came after the church leadership denied access to the facility county public health officers who were administering vaccination.

“The security agencies swung into action after the facility leadership denied access to county public health officers who were out to administer vaccines to children in the area,” said the OCPD.

The OCPD said the 10 minors were being held at the Gospel of God Church International, which is headed by Pastor John Maina Mwenye.

He said the church leadership is currently being interrogated in a bid to shed light on the matter, noting that they suspect the rights of the minors might have been violated.

The OCPD said the children are being sheltered safely at Timau Police Station as investigations continues.

“The church management is insinuating that the 10 minors are sisters who are being taught some church doctrines, which we are currently investigating. We are digging further to discover whether it is the truth,” Musyimi said.

We are interrogating them in a bid to find out the validity of the programme. We want to establish whether it is being carried out according to the law in order to enable us take the necessary legal action. The children were under confinement raising suspicion that their rights or any other law might have been violated,” said Musyimi.

He said preliminary investigations show that the children have been held at the facility since 2016.

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By John Majau

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