In Nakuru, Kenya, 56 Ugandan nationals, including 29 adults and 27 children aged between one and five years, were arrested on Tuesday morning for being in the country without proper documentation. The group was reportedly traveling to Ethiopia for a week-long religious conference.
The arrest took place at a bus terminus in Nakuru town, where the group had stopped to rest and have refreshments. According to Nakuru East sub-county Deputy County Commissioner Were Simiyu, local police were alerted to the presence of the foreign nationals by a concerned member of the public who noticed unusual activity at the bus stop.
Upon investigation, law enforcement officials determined that the group had entered Kenya through the Busia border crossing, and they were all members of the Christ Disciples Church (CDC) from Ngora district in eastern Uganda. Their intended destination was a church mission in Ethiopia to pray for the people there. However, they did not possess the necessary travel documents for their journey.
In a compassionate response to the situation, Simiyu stated that the group would be repatriated to Uganda to obtain the proper documentation before resuming their journey to Ethiopia. “These are our friends from a neighboring country, and we will take them back so they can get their papers processed and plan for their travel,” he added.
The belongings of the pilgrims, many of which were in poor condition, raised concerns about the group’s preparation and planning for the trip. After the arrest, the detained Ugandans informed the police that their pastor was en route to Nakuru to secure their release.
The police have launched an investigation to identify and question the person referred to as their pastor, who is reportedly traveling to Nakuru. One of the detained individuals, 27-year-old Isaac Adile from Ommo village in Uganda, identified their prayer leader as Isaac Omiata and emphasized that they are not associated with any cult or suspicious religious group.