Popular Kenyan television presenter Esther Arunga has come out to clear the air about her links to religious grouping described as a cult and relationship with a prominent jazz musician, Joseph Hellon.
Ms Arunga expressed her disappointment over media reports linking her to a 'cult' religious group on Thursday, during a joint press conference with the renowned musician at a Nairobi hotel.
Mr Hellon, who has been in the middle of controversy in the past few days over the religious group, defended his church, Finger of God Ministries International, as a registered church which has been running for about three years now.
"I founded it and I'm the lead pastor, where we preach the gospel of Jesus Christ according to the Bible," he said.
He said that the issue at hand was brought about by the fact that he had stopped the planned wedding between Esther Arunga and Wilson Malaba.
Mr Hellon also confirmed that Ms Arunga has been living in his house in Runda since March last year.
"Is there any problem for a 29-year-old grown up person to live wherever they wanted to live in?" asked Hellon.
Speaking at the same conference, Ms Arunga said she was deeply disappointed by the reports, especially those written by this reporter and Grace Kerongo of The Star.
"This is media stupidity and since I'm a journalist, there was no rush to do this story. I have not had any scandal in the media," she said.
She however agreed that she had been engaged to marry Wilson Malaba in April, but when she got reports that his integrity was questionable, she decided to call off the wedding.
"His finances were questionable too, where he used to get illegal money. He is under investigation now, he was kicked out of the church, and that's why I don't want anything to do with him," said Ms Arunga.
On her resigning from her job, she said that after the breaking up with Wilson, she decided to ask for two weeks off.
"But now I have resigned, mainly because I wasn't feeling that I was being paid enough and I wanted to pursue other interests as well," she said.
And, Mr Hellon explained "the reason the wedding (between Ms Arunga and Mr Walaba) was stopped was because Wilson's beliefs, practices and conduct, were contrary to what the church preaches and believes.
In fact, before the nullification of the wedding, Wilson had been removed from the church," said Mr Hellon.
Even though Wilson was a leader of the church, Hellon added, he was not a registered member of the church. He said that since Wilson was upset by the issue, he went ahead to send him a text message, and the matter is now in court.
He said that Wilson (Malaba) had sent CID officers to his on claims that he was a drug dealer, a pimp and his church was not registered.
"My house was searched last week, computers and phones confiscated and I was arrested, spent a night at Kilimani Police Station and later arraigned in court, before getting out on bond," he said.
Meanwhile, there were reports that a new man, Quincy Timberlake, had joined the church from the UK, was now leading the church and apparently was now chosen as the right man for Arunga to marry.
"Quincy is with us. He has been my friend since childhood, he went to the UK, came back late last year and we are now doing music together," explained Hellon. "His position in church leadership and what he's up to, apart from from the fact that we are doing music together, remains nobody's business."
SOURCES : DAILY NATION
SOURCES : DAILY NATION