Six worshippers from an evangelical church in Naivasha on Thursday pleaded guilty to illegally exhuming the body of a one-year-old Esther Muceke in an attempt to ‘resurrect’ her.
The girl’s mother Jane Njoki, her sister Margaret Wanjiru and brother Harun Mwangi appeared before principal magistrate Esther Kimilu.
Others are Titus Gitonga and James Kahiga (both pastors at Kingdom Touch Ministry) and another worshipper Deborah Muiru.
The six were fined Sh50,000 with an alternative of serving a year in jail.
On Tuesday evening, residents of Karati village were left in shock after a group of worshippers, led by two pastors, went to Muceke’s gravesite and exhumed her body before starting fervent prayers to “resurrect” her.
Njoki and her relatives all pleaded guilty to disinterring the body. The pastors and the worshipper had initially denied the charges, but later pleaded guilty.
Njoki told the court she was traumatised by her daughter’s death. She said she was not aware of what was going on during the exhumation.
She asked for a lenient penalty, saying she was still grieving.
The other suspects apologised and also asked for a lenient penalty. They said they believed their faith and prayers would bring the girl back to life.