It saddened me to know that my own busy freelance pastor had been secretly betting and that he won Sportpesa’s 10 million jackpot a month ago. I was furious to realize that a week later after hitting his goldmine; he still insisted that my donations were low. He requested me to make a fresh impact in church with a 5,000 shilling contribution, which I did happily. I was even among the first people in our church to buy 3 bottles of “healing oil” to enhance my blessings through the difficult month of January. I was further naively robbed of Ksh.1,000 through “plant a seed” or “panda mbegu” as commonly referred by millenials. With these kind of preparations, I expected my January to slide on just fine. However, ten days into the month, I knew that I was just enriching a conman masquerading as an ordained pastor.

When I dug deep into the life of pastor John Njoroge, I realized that in Kitale he was known as Reverend James Wamachati and in Nakuru locals referred to him as prophet Diamond Odongo after graduating from “Bishop”. I proved that he secretly owned a bar known as “Jemo’s Water” in Bungoma which he visited at least once in a month…in church he often explained his absence by declaring that he needed time to meditate.

Like all last Sundays of each month, our church; Pendo Ministries, held a mega contribution. We always managed to raise about half a million shillings to about 700, 000 shillings depending on the craftiness of the day’s testimonies. Thus, it was always a thorough rehearsal to ready at least 4 people to colorfully explain how they gave money in church and received more blessings. You would easily hear thin-voiced women declare that they had built rentals or bought plots of land in Kiserian or Athi river by giving just 30,000 shillings in contributions. Men declared that minutes after giving heavy contributions and walking out of church; they received calls for various business deals. Either way, after each contribution, all the money was carried to pastor Njoroge’s office. By then, only 3 people were allowed into the office. The church usually made arrangements with Willsfargo to transport the money to the bank.

When the music progression hit a higher tone, just like any day, women and men chosen to dramatize on this particular day, fell down as if possessed by evil spirits. My 3 cousins were on duty, they secretly handed me their handbags and in a matter of seconds, I saw them on the floor doing all sorts of acrobatics. I smiled knowingly. Pastor Njoroge jumped high up, as they had rehearsed and slapped them as he poured some “anointed oil” on their heads.  I had personally filled the bottles with perfumed water just three days ago.

Those who have been in the conning industry will be quick to tell you that it is hard to suspect a smart person. Thus, the number one investment of all conmen in East and Central Africa is in sharp dressing. This criminal now referred to as pastor Njoroge ensured that he spent at least 2 hours in a barber shop. He had identified a tailor in the congregation who supplied him with 3 suits each month instead of paying “sadaka”. On this particular day, he wore his white 2-button suit that was perfectly sown to fit his fat body. However, the tailor had miscalculated his waist measurements. he trouser squeezed him leaving his heavy buttocks way behind. He had brushed his black leather sharp shooters to death. Thus, when he stood in front of the congregation he looked immaculate and innocent. He was humble.

When the theatrics finally ended, the pastor stood to give a short sermon before calling for the contributions from the congregation. He threatened us. He dared us. He persuaded. He pestered for 19 minutes.  When Kirui the pianist got his chance, he played as one possessed. The speakers roared with beats I clearly traced from a Tanzanian hit musician commonly referred to as a precious stone close to gold and silver.

Women jumped to their feet and emptied their pulses. Men returned to their seats with nothing remaining in their wallets.

I slide my hand to the right side of my waist and felt the small G-4 gun I had hired. It was intact; waiting to be used. I smiled knowingly. As they carried the money to the pastor’s office, I followed.

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