Windhoek - A distraught mother in Katutura’s Ombili location painfully narrated how her daughter dropped out of university after she joined the Katutura-based church raided by the police on Sunday night.
Police on Sunday swamped the Fountain of Living Water Ministry, situated in Freedom Square, and found 16 followers inside the church, some living there for years.
The church, which belongs to a Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) pastor, Jacques Sumpi, who is married to a Namibian university lecturer, is now under police investigation.
By Tuesday afternoon the pastor was not arrested as the police were still investigating to establish whether there was enough grounds for any arrests.
The church is accused of feeding followers a mixture of sand and olive oil.
Narrating her order, the Ombili mother said she first got alarmed when her daughter changed her name to Hanna.
Also, she once was taken to hospital after fasting for days without consuming anything. She looked frail and laid in bed unable to walk, says her mother.
“I called Fonsech and they took her to the hospital. She was weighing 29 kg – this for a person born in 1992 and her sugar level was at two,” remarked the mother, Rauha Nikolaye.
Nikolaye said her daughter told her that no one will stop her from attending church.
Nikolaye showed up at the church on Monday after news spread that followers were found in church.
The mother, who works as a cleaner, had high hopes her daughter would finish her local government course at the University of Namibia so that she in turn would financially assist her mother and siblings.
Nikolaye said she took out loans to pay for her daughter’s course, for which students do not receive government funding.
Nikolaye said her daughter successfully completed her first year but things changed in her second year when she could not provide her academic record. It appeared the young woman only registered at university but was not attending classes – turning to church instead. She was introduced to the controversial church by a fellow student.
Nikolaye said after her daughter joined the church she (daughter) became hostile towards her and her siblings. Nikolaye said the younger children at home informed her that her daughter had her own cups and plates which she ate from.
“She also sprayed the interior of the house and sprayed the food before consuming it. She has pasted stickers on her body and feet,” stated the mother, who wants the church shut down.
Nampol Chief Inspector Christina van Dunem Fonsech told New Era on Monday that the church followers who comprise students and employees are convinced to leave school, their jobs and their families.
Fonsech said when followers allegedly leave the church, they are told that they are being used by the devil.
In 2014, Nikolaye decided she will not pay for her daughter’s university fees but in 2015 the young woman convinced her mother that she wanted to go back to school and she registered for school. Again, it turned out she was not attending school.
“She would return home around 00h00 and 02h00 in the morning and I was worried. She was coming from church. Later she started taking blankets to church and went to church up to three times a day. There were times she would stay for a week at church,” lamented the mother.
After the mother got fed up with her daughter’s behaviour, she (daughter) moved to her father’s home but her conduct was the same and she then moved to her mother’s brother house for strict supervision.
“My brother warned her that he doesn’t want to see her at that church,” stated the mother, adding that her daughter is now studying a new course at a different institution.