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6 church elders kill man who failed to attend prayers

Police have arrested six people suspected of killing a 64-year-old man for failing to attend a prayer service.

Witnesses said Charles Omwaye was assaulted by Legio Maria Church leaders at his Kayamo village home in Kokech Location, Homa Bay County.

Mr Omwaye died while being treated at Rachuonyo South Hospital on Sunday.

Kokech chief Joel Owenga said the six who assaulted Mr Omwaye were from Dol Kodera and Opok churches.

They arrived at the homestead on Friday night for a service but found the elderly man in bed, said Mr Owenga.

SECOND WIFE

They started their prayers in the presence of Mr Omwaye’s second wife and her children.

According to Mr Owenga, one of the church leaders was directed by the “Holy Spirit” to the room where Mr Omwaye was sleeping.

“The information we have is that the clergymen said the spirit directed them to hit the old man because he was sleeping while prayers were going on,” said the chief.

According to Mr Owenga, differences between the elderly man and his second wife began when she ditched the Catholic Church in favour of Legio Maria about a year ago.

“I was called to settle their differences on many occasions when Omwaye told me his Form Two son was almost dropping out of school because he had been told by church members that education was a waste of time,” said the chief.

He added that it was surprising the woman and her son never raised the alarm when Mr Omwaye was being beaten.

Fortunately, the woman’s Standard Seven daughter screamed, attracting neighbours and other villagers.

Philemon Ochieng said his father used to differ with his step-mother for dedicating most of her time to the church.

CONFIRMED ARREST

“He was complaining that my step-mother would stay away from home for a week or more, attending Legio Maria functions,” he said.

County Police boss Marius Tum confirmed the arrest of the six.

Those arrested included the victim’s second wife and a priest.

The woman was taken in custody when she took bread and soda to some of those who had been arrested.

Police are still looking for other suspects.