The Star (Nairobi)

10 July 2012

Kenya: Al Shabaab Tempt Cleric's Son With Six Million

AN Anglican Bishop on Sunday stunned Christians in Teso when he revealed how a cleric's son was offered Sh6 million to join the al-Shabaab militants. Bishop Zakayo Epus of the Katakwa Diocese said the incident is alarming. He urged parents to monitor the movements of their children to guard them from being lured into the militants group's activities.

Addressing Christians during the confirmation class at St James ACK Church Malaba, Epus said the Sh6m offer is tempting for the unemployed youth. The boy's father Lucas Kapchanga said the incident has shocked the family. He said caller had promised his son Sh6m if he agreed to join the group. Epus said the militants are targeting unemployed Christian youth to recruit into the organisation to carry out attacks in the country. He told Christians to be wary of unsolicited short text messages on in their phones saying it is one of the methods being used by the militia to recruit new members.

The priest said after the boy received the phone from the mother he marched away while communicating to the stranger who seemed to have promised him a brighter future. The ball was told to be on standby for further communication. The whole day of making a fortune sent the boy into a frenzy mood as he waited for the happy hour.

Kapchanga said the boy got closer to him and directed the caller to communicate to his dad who had just arrived from a pastoral programme. "After receiving the handset from the boy I demanded to know who the caller was. Immediately the phone went off. Finally I demanded to know from my son to who had wanted me talk to," he said.

The priest said the boy narrated to him what had befallen him for the last eight hours on the standby to the eagerly awaited promise and directives. " I got astonished and left in awe to learn that the number had not been captured in the phone memory that could have enabled me call back and find the motive of the promise," he said. Bishop Epus urged Kenyans to stop blaming Muslims for the serial attacks, urging Kenyans to embrace joint efforts with the police in a bid to curb the Al Shabaab threats.

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