A witness, one Francis Munala, shocked judges at a Kenyan court on Monday when he refused to swear on the Bible to tell the truth, labelling the act the “worst sin on earth”.
Munala, who called himself a “righteous son of God and a strong evangelist”, told the Kibera court swearing on the Bible would bar him from heaven.
An alternative solemn promise, to tell the truth, was provided, but Munala changed some words.
“I am a man of God and I don’t follow your earthly things. I am an evangelist and taking this oath is a sin,” he said, quoting Matthew: 5:34.
“But I say unto you, swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne,” the Bible says.
Munala told the prosecution the court has been committing sins by requiring witnesses to swear on the Bible.
Senior principal magistrate Esther Boke told Munala the law provides an alternative way of taking the oath but when he was directed how to do it, he chose to say it in his own words.
What especially shocked the court was that Munala said that were it not for his self-control, the oath issue would have been even worse.
“I decided not to intervene in the matter as it would be even worse than it was,” he said.
He promised to tell the truth but did not raise his hand or touch the Bible. He proceeded to testify.
Munala was testifying in a case in which a former caretaker has been charged with assaulting his neighbour.
The charge sheet says that Francis Aluhoya assaulted Florence Odhiambo on February 16 in the Ngando area in Riruta in Nairobi. He denied the charges and was released on bond.
The witness told the court that his “brother”, the accused person, attacked the complainant while he was in his house and he heard a lot of noise.
“I was relaxing in my house when I heard a brother crying outside. After a few minutes, I heard someone knocking my door. When I opened it, I saw a former caretaker who asked me if I had lights,” Munala told the court.
He said the former caretaker then went to the house where the current caretaker was and asked him why he had interfered with the lights.
“I went out of the house and tried to stop them. The caretaker was struck by a stone on his head. I saw the caretaker being tied with a lesso,” he said.
The magistrate directed the matter be mentioned on March 8 for further hearing.
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