Police saved a prominent Nairobi pastor from a mob that claimed the man of the collar had neglected his child, thereby leading to his death.
Pastor Victor Kanyari of the Salvation Church Ministries had gone to Umoja Estate on Monday May 26 to retrieve the body of the baby who died in mysterious circumstances.
The one-year-old died at the home of a woman alleged to be the pastor’s lover.
Witnesses said Kanyari got to Umoja in two of his cars — a Land Cruiser Prado and a Range Rover Sports — to pick the body.
By then, angry wananchi had crowded outside the block of flats and they set upon Kanyari with kicks and blows.
The dead child’s mother — Mercy Njoroge tried to protect Kanyari with little success. It was then that police on patrol appeared and rescued Kanyari. They shot in the air twice to scare the mob.
“Please, don’t hurt him. We will solve this matter ourselves,” Mercy told the mob. Kanyari was then briefly detained at Buruburu police station where he recorded a statement as the police took away the child’s body.
Grieving Mercy Njoroge was not available for comment.
This is not the first time Kanyari, who insists on being called Dr Prophet Kanyari, has hit the headlines. Last August, a local TV station reported that Kanyari’s Salvation Healing ministry Church preaches prosperity gospel.
The televangelist has four ‘prayer lines’ where the sick and needy individuals can get him directly. The station reported that the church asks for Sh777 from poorer worshippers and Sh7,777 from the well-to-do ones.
Kanyari is the son of another prophet, Lucy Nduta, who was arrested and prosecuted in 2006 for allegedly swindling Kenyans. She demanded at least Sh200,000 for a miraculous HIV/Aids cure, something she did not deliver.
Life in the limelight
Kanyari is also a musician and has released a song titled, Auuuui!
In an earlier interview, Bayo defended her husband saying he is a real man of God. She also defended his reason for asking the public for money saying he spends more than Sh1 million paying for TV broadcast services.
Bayo further said that despite the negative perception on her husband by the media, he has managed to get more followers than ever before.
“Kenyans are so good at judging others yet they are the worst sinners. So leave my husband alone,” she said.
Late last year, Kanyari paraded a semi-nude boy on TV and announced his HIV positive status before the congregation and programme viewers.
Kanyari made the young boy walk through a large congregation.
The skinny and frail boy was then left at the front of the church on full display after he was stripped down to a pair of shorts.
The pastor proceeded to ask for Sh310 from worshippers through M-Pesa to pray for the boy to be healed.
The Nairobian’s attempts to talk to Kanyari bore no fruit as his mobile phone was off
Kanyari is husband to gospel singer Betty Bayo, famous for her hit singles Siyabonga and Eleventh Hour.
The two got married in 2012 at a private ceremony and she refused to reveal her husband’s name, only describing him as “a good man with a good heart.”
When asked by The Standard reporters about her relationship to the pastor, Bayo said: “Yes, he is my husband.”