Controversial Kisumu priest Father John Pesa was ordered to pay Ksh 500,000 as compensation fee to a 2017 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) student he detained for nearly two years.
The cleric was accused of detaining the student from July 2017 to May 2019, forcing him to miss sitting national exams.
Parents of the boy in question argued that they took their son for prayers at Pesa’s Holy Ghost Coptic Church of Africa after they found out that he was ill.
Pesa reportedly detained the student using heavy metallic chains and declined to release him as per the wish of his parents.
A psychiatrist based in Kisumu ascertained that the student was mentally ill, a condition which prevented him from focusing on his school work.
Pesa refuted that he tortured the student, arguing that the court failed to present medical documents for clarity purposes.
High Court Judge Tripisa Cherere ruled that everyone has the right to education which should not be compromised on the basis of one’s religious beliefs. She added that the student’s freedom of movement was also curtailed.
“In this respect, I am persuaded that the 3rd Respondent not only failed in his duty to take the student to school but by removing him from school, also breached his right to education. Detaining him also subjected him to psychological torture,” she ruled on Thursday, October 22.
On Wednesday, October 14, Pesa was on the spotlight after he claimed that his life was in danger.
The cleric lamented that a section of youth had attacked him while demanding money he reportedly received after visiting Deputy President William Ruto’s home in Sugoi.
“They told me to produce the money Ruto gave me the failure to which they would kill me. I wonder why someone would threaten to kill me yet I did not get a cent from the visit. I did not see any money,” Pesa stated.