, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 10 – Former TV presenter Esther Arunga who has dominated news headlines lately has been charged with being a member of an illegal society.
Ms Arunga was arraigned before Nairobi Chief Magistrate Gilbert Mutembei where she was accused of being a member of Finger of God church.
Ms Arunga was arrested three weeks ago alongside the controversial church leader Joseph Hellon, Quincy Timberlake and other church members who have since appeared in court. The court has directed that the case be consolidated with that of other church members.
The former news anchor who is now known as Esther Adongo Timberlake after a civil union with Mr Timberlake had not initially appeared in court with the rest as police were awaiting a medical report from a professional psychiatrist.
Mr Hellon, his wife Vineyard and the rest of the church members were all released on bail apart from Mr Timberlake, who was denied bail for absconding an earlier one given over a different case he is facing at the Makadara Law courts.
If found guilty, the court heard, the accused could serve a one year jail term or pay a fine of not more than Sh5 million.
The activities of the church have been in the public limelight after the former KTN news anchor ditched her work and joined the church.
Their trial will begin on April 21.