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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 September 2006, 08:21 GMT 09:21 UK
Kenyan joy as world fails to end
Eliasu Kamotho
Eliasu Kamotho said the media had destroyed the group's image
Residents of Nyandarua village in central Kenya are full of relief, after a local sect's doomsday predictions failed to materialise.

The House of Yahweh sect had predicted that the world would end before 12 September and had started building bunkers in case of nuclear war.

However, after being arrested the sect's leaders disappeared. One blamed the media for destroying their image.

But a BBC correspondent said some locals anxiously awaited the deadline.

Then when nothing happened, they started laughing.

"We knew these guys were tricksters," said local resident Duncan Mbugua.

Monitoring

The BBC's Noel Mwakugu who went to the village, 300km west of Nairobi, says the House of Yahweh's leaders were arrested and bailed on condition that they stop inciting fear in the local population.

A sect member hold up a copy of Yahweh's 613 laws
Sect members live by Yahweh's 613 laws
He did speak to one of the sect's leaders, Eliasu Kamotho, by telephone.

Mr Kamotho said the end of the world was still imminent but he refused to give a deadline.

The authorities say they are monitoring the sect closely, after hundreds of a doomsday cult were killed six years ago in neighbouring Uganda after that group's predictions failed to come true.

House of Yahweh is the latest intriguing sect to have emerged onto Kenya's packed religious scene, where more than 100 groups are now registered by the Kenyan government.

The sect members refer to their creator as Yahweh, not God, and the male followers sport long, goatee beards.




SEE ALSO
Kenya church makes Aids apology
16 Mar 06 |  Africa
New mass grave fears in Uganda
23 Apr 00 |  Africa
Country profile: Kenya
09 Jun 06 |  Country profiles

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