Clergyman Denies Baby Trafficking Charge

The evangelist at the centre of a storm over charges of baby trafficking between Kenya and the UK, yesterday issued a statement from his headquarters in London, denying the allegations.

Archbishop Gilbert Deya said he was not “involved in trafficking of any sort”. Condemning his accusers as “evil, satanic and abnormal”, Pastor Deya said: “I refute the evil allegations against me of trafficking children from Kenya to the United Kingdom.”

Edith Edzedom, a follower of Archbishop Gilbert Deya, holds 10-week-old Joshua, one of the alleged miracle babies, when she and other members called at Nation Centre, Nairobi yesterday.

He insisted that the “miracle babies” he claims to have produced for infertile and post menopausal women were “God’s work”.

Said the pastor: “God has used me and there is no doubt that we are fulfilling the scripture of our generation.”

Meanwhile, in what seemed like a coordinated response to the allegations made against Pastor Deya, the clergyman’s followers in Nairobi yesterday came to the Nation Centre in an effort to refute claims that the UK-based Kenyan evangelical movement leader, had been involved in any wrongdoing.

The pastor’s wife, Mrs Mary Deya, led two pastors with the Gilbert Deya Ministries, the pastor’s daughter, Deborah, and a woman called Edith Ezedom, who claimed to have had three babies, one after the other, in the space of less than a year, without having had sex with her husband.

Seemingly pregnant and awkwardly holding a baby she said was called Joshua, Edith, speaking English in a West African accent, and who claimed to be a British citizen, said she was one of Pastor Deya’s miracle mothers.

During the interview yesterday, Archbishop Deya rang one of his acolytes and promised to send material from London that would “clear him of any accusations of baby trafficking”.

The Rev Deya, who claims that he can create “miracle babies” for childless couples, was the subject of an investigation by a BBC radio documentary broadcast on Friday.

According to the BBC, the investigation into the Archbishop started after Kenyan authorities prevented a so-called “miracle baby” from being taken to Britain, until DNA tests were carried out to establish its true parentage.

However, yesterday, Edith and Mrs Deya clarified that it was the British High Commission in Nairobi that had queried the validity of the birth certificate of one of Edith’s babies and prevented her from taking the baby to the UK.

Meanwhile, the Church of England and the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology have called for an investigation into the so-called “miracle babies” being born to British women.

The BBC investigation into the births found that the church leader prays over the childless women, and “they are pronounced pregnant by Jesus.”

Yesterday, Mrs Deya said she had been using her powers to lay hands on infertile or post menopausal women to help them conceive children since “about 1996.”

Eager to prove their claims, Edith and Mrs Deya had even brought along photographs showing Edith in childbirth.

They claimed that all of Edith’s babies were delivered by the same gynaecologist, a Dr Grace, who could detect a child in the womb, even when a high tech scan showed nothing.

Mrs Deya said Dr Grace, she couldn’t recall her surname, was a consultant at a group of privately owned and run clinics with branches in Nairobi’s Huruma and Dandora estates.

Pastor Deya who used to appear on KBC TV where he had an hour-long spot, is based mainly in the UK now. His Gilbert Deya Ministries has has more than 36,000 members and he is building a £1 million (Sh147 million) church in south London.

He told the BBC that there was no explanation for the miracle babies. He said he wasn’t surprised their DNA wasn’t the same as their parents’, “as they came from God”.

Said the pastor in the interview: “The ‘miracle babies’ which are happening now in our ministry is beyond a human imagination, but it’s not something that … I can explain because they are of God and things of God cannot be explained by human beings.”

“Unless somebody’s blind, how can you say the woman is not pregnant?” the pastor asked his interviewer on BBC domestic radio.

“We witness they are pregnant, they went to Kenya and they came with the babies, so we believe that where the tummy was big the baby has come out.”


(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
The Nation, Kenya
Aug. 15, 2004
Mwangi Githahu

Religion News Blog posted this on Sunday August 15, 2004.
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