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Preacher arrested for forcing kids to quit school, worship naked

by The Star

A West Pokot preacher has been arrested for forcing children to abandon school for his church where they worship while naked.

Samwel Kalwari who calls himself Eliya, claims he was directed by God to abandon his job and start “serving him.”

Samwel Kalwari who is now calling himself Eliya alleges that he was asked by God to abandon his job and start serving him.

Kalwari is a nurse by profession but does not allow his followers to seek medical treatment in hospital.

He was arrested at Ywaleteke location.

His wife, Penina Lomatum, said the husband left home in January  2017 for his work station.

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Lomatum said the man used to return home during the weekends to visit his children but never made such a trip after January 2017 when he allegedly married a second wife.

“When we got married, I told him I cannot attend his church and he allowed me to worship in my previous church. I have just come to realise that he has a new name Eliya. I was not aware of that,” Lomatum said.

She asked the government to investigate the church and ascertain whether it is registered.

“I have heard that he doesn’t use salt and sugar and he cannot use new notes. I heard that he was arrested and decided to come and visit him today,” she said.  

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Lomatum asked the government to hasten investigations so that Kalwari can go back to his job and help their young children.

“I have no job and used to depend on him to support the family,” the wife said.

Kipkomo subcounty commandant Mohamed Kofa said Kalwari was arrested alongside parents of the affected children.

“We have arrested the pastor together with the parents of children who had abandoned school and we are carrying out investigations to get more information concerning the church. We want to know what they do while worshiping naked in the hills,” Kofa said.

Kofa asked chiefs to ensure all school-going children were in school and parents who fail to ensure their children are in school be arrested.

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“Parents who fail to take their children to school should be arrested and prosecuted since it’s the constitutional mandate to ensure their children go to school,” he said.

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