Kabonokia sect members jailed for refusing to be counted
Forty -six members of Kabonokia sect have been sentenced to between six months and one-year imprisonment by a Marimanti court for refusing to be counted in the 2019 national census.
The 46 were among 50 residents of Tharaka-North Sub County who were arrested on Tuesday and charged with refusing to provide information to census officials and over lack of national identity cards.
The sect members claimed that their doctrines do not allow them to participate in earthly activities, including being counted in a census, participating in elections, getting immunized or using contraceptives.
Among those jailed for six months were 25 women and 17 men drawn from Korocho, Thiiti and Kathangacini. They were given an alternative of Sh100,000 fine each.
Two others were slapped with eight-month jail terms for the same offense and refusing to have their finger prints taken by police officers who arrested them.
During the hearing, four others pleaded guilty but were released after they agreed to be enlisted.
Another two handed one-year jail term or Sh200,000 fine for not having national identity cards and refusing to be enlisted.
According to police sources, the faithful did not resist arrest while others surrendered themselves to police, claiming they are ready to die for their faith like the biblical Stephen who was stoned to death. But Stephen was stoned to death for blasphemy after he denounced Jewish authorities who were sitting in judgement on him.
"In fact, they were very adamant even the area administration officers tried to convince them. But it was in vain because they claimed they would rather die than reveal information of their family, arguing it against the bible and their beliefs," said one of their neighbours who declined to be named.