Over 40 members of the controversial Kavonokia religious sect in Tharaka Nithi County have been convicted for refusing to be counted in the just concluded national population and census exercise.
A Marimanti Court sentenced a total of 46 members to between six months and one year in prison in a ruling on Wednesday.
The 46 were among 50 who had been arraigned, with four being released by the court after pleading guilty and accepting to be enlisted.
The other 46 maintained that their religious doctrines do not allow them to participate in ‘earthly’ activities.
Senior Resident Magistrate Stephen Nyaga jailed two of the 46 members for one year with an alternative of Ksh200, 000 fine for the counts of declining to be counted and for lack of National Identity cards.
“Failure to pay Sh200,000 fine, you will serve one year in prison, six months for declining to be counted and the other six for lack of National Identity Cards,” the Magistrate ruled.
Another two members were imprisoned for eight months for failing to be counted and declining to have their fingerprints taken during interrogation by police.
The remaining 42 members – 25 women and 17 men – were jailed for six months with an alternative fine of Ksh100, 000.