It was business as usual for embattled Salvation Healing Ministry preacher Victor Kanyari as scores of faithful streamed to his city church yesterday for Sunday service.
However, journalists from The Standard and KTN were not allowed to join the rest of the worshippers, who were singing and praising loudly, when they sought to enter the church on Cross Road in Nyamakima.
They were stopped in their tracks as they climbed the staircase heading for the fourth floor where the church is situated.
Everyone entering the church had to be screened by a group of youths lining the staircase.
The youths chased away our journalists, branding them “spoilers”.
“These are journalists and should not be allowed in. Where are you going?” one of them shouted after apparently identifying a KTN photojournalist who was involved in the filming of the story that exposed “Prophet, Doctor, Bishop” Kanyari’s fake testimony stunts.
Outwitted, the journalists had no option but leave, escorted by the sweet voices of worshippers and their musical instruments.
Meanwhile, members of the congregation were ushered in with minimal questioning.
From the look of things, it was clear that the scandal that has shaken the country to the core did nothing to shift the congregants’ trust in their spiritual leader.
Yesterday was the first Sunday since KTN’s Jicho Pevu/Inside Story team brought to Kenyans’ living rooms the shocking story of how miracles were ‘manufactured’ in Kanyari’s church.
In the wake of the revelations, Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko ordered police to investigate Kanyari for allegedly obtaining money by false pretences.
Police have said they plan to summon some of the people who had claimed they were conned by the pastor in their quest for healing.
“He will also have to talk to us on this issue because it threatens the society at large,” said a senior officer aware of the probe.
Kanyari was caught on camera coaching his staff to lie to unsuspecting church members, radio and television audiences into believing that he was capable of performing miracles to solve all manner of problems as long as people “sowed the seed”.
For only Sh310, the pastor promised to cure all manner of diseases including HIV and Aids, find jobs for the unemployed, and paraded different people who had allegedly benefited from his miracles.
By Cyrus Ombati, The Standard