Detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) have released several patients and unearthed graves along the perimeter walls at the Coptic Holy Ghost Church in Kisumu which is led and managed by Father John Pesa.
Father John Pesa clarifies graves unearthed by detectives at his church
Detectives who raided the church on Friday took several patients who were in the compound to hospital and unearthed several graves that are now part of investigations
The team that was comprised of officers from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP), DCI and Kisumu County health officers raided the church on Friday, August 04 after receiving complains from locals that patients with mental health challenges were held at the facility in deplorable conditions.
The church was also allegedly burying those who died at the premises.
ODPP confirmed the raid in a statement that revealed that the raid “follows a court order that granted the investigating agency authorization to undertake the exercise after several complaints that people with mental challenges were being illegally held within the church premises.”
Pesa confirms the existence of graves
Nation quoted Pesa confirming the presence of graves at his church clarifying that they belong to nuns who served at the church before their deaths and were buried there with the consent of their families as well as their own which they provided before death.
"In case of any death, the bodies are always transported to their respective homes for burial.
"Even our bishops are taken to their homes for burial after requiem mass conducted in the church and that applies to the believers." Pesa stated.
Controversial preacher's troubles with the law
The cleric accused authorities of unfairly targeting his church that has been in existence for over 40 years, noting that other churches operate in the same way yet are not targeted.
Pesa maintained that his operations are above board and not anything similar to Shakahola massacre, stating that the sick are brought strictly for healing prayers and no one is detained.
He also added that some come to learn about the church’s doctrines.
The controversial preacher and his church have been at the center of news with at least 8 patients freed from the church on Saturday, 25 June 2023 by the Senate Adhoc Committee investigating the proliferation of rogue religious organizations.
Two years ago, Pesa and his Holy Ghost Coptic Church of Africa and another party were ordered by court to pay a boy they had detained in chains Sh500,000.
The court was told that the boy identified as SOO who was suffering from an acute psychotic disorder was denied his freedom for 25 months as he was preparing to sit for his Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE)
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