Kenya: Fate of Jehovah Wanyonyi's Adherents Five Years After His Death

16 October 2020

He led a mysterious life and his 'whereabouts' remain a top secret among his followers, five years after his 'disappearance'.

But devotees of the Lost Israelites sect believe that their 'God', Jehovah Wanyonyi, is alive and has just taken a break at a serene place. They insist he will join them soon and offer spiritual guidance on life before the anticipated end of the world.

"Our God is not like any ordinary human being who dies. He has been with us here and he will come back. The fact that you non-believers are not seeing him does not mean that he is dead," says Eliab Masinde, the chief priest of the Lost Israelites.

The sect believes in sacrificing burnt offering to their human 'God' Jehovah Wanyonyi. But there is a problem. The whereabouts of their 'God' has been a mystery since he went 'missing' five years ago.

The worshippers are currently under chief priest Masinde, who has been ordained to represent Jehovah Wanyonyi, as they look forward to his long-awaited return.

When word of his death broke, his Kipsomba area chief Paul Kipkorir says he issued a burial permit to Jehovah Wanyonyi's son.

Mr Kipkorir says the cleric died on his way to a hospital in Cherangany in Trans Nzoia County.

Burial permit

"The son of the deceased whose name is Nicholas, came for a burial permit after his father died on his way to the hospital," recalls Mr Kipkorir.

He said that the sons showed him a letter from the hospital confirming that Wanyonyi's body had been preserved at Cherangany Nursing Home.

The chief revealed that Jehovah Wanyonyi's real name was Michael Mwomboi.

Mr Masinde, the chief priest in charge of the sacrificial shrine, said that of all the sacrifices, alcohol specifically Tusker larger, is the one that has the 'sweetest aroma' to please their 'God'.

The charming elderly man has faith in the art of sacrificing beer at the altar to appease their 'God'.

The absence of an animal to be sacrificed is not a bother to the priest as long as there is a bottle of Tusker, a packet of wheat flour, margarine (read Blue Band) and oil.

During the sacrifice ceremony, Masinde pours oil around the flour before setting it ablaze at their shrine, which is well protected with cemented wire mesh surrounding their altar.

"We believe that Jehovah Wanyonyi made us beer for his sacrifice. Even Jesus made alcohol during a wedding in Canaan," he said as he moved around the altar while speaking in tongues, amid shouts of "Amen!"' by his followers.

He cautioned his followers against delaying in their pronouncement as this could attract the wrath of Jehovah Wanyonyi.

After the sacrifice, worshippers conclude their service by dancing to traditional drumbeats.

Spreading rumours

Mr Masinde also condemned the local media for spreading rumours that Wanyonyi died five years ago.

"Journalists mocking us that our god died are attracting curses in their life. I warn them to repent and bring a sacrifice to our altar to be cleansed," he warned.

Jehovah Wanyonyi's spiritual movement began as an anti-colonial spiritual movement.

His Lost Israelites followers have been thrown into spiritual disarray since 2015 after their self-declared god went missing.

The incident made Chomororoch Village in Uasin Gishu County, where the sect is located on a half-acre piece of land, a household name.

Back in 2015, Jehovah Wanyonyi departed from his home to seek medication in one of the hospitals in Kitale and has never been seen since.

At the time of his 'mysterious 'disappearance' Jehovah Wanyonyi was 91 years old.

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