Kemuel Kaleni: I am just a pastor, not prophet or king
By BIRA’AU W. SAENI
THE leader of a religious group in Malaita who was the subject of much discussions and criticisms over the past days, on Wednesday spoke out for the first time to the Solomon Star.
Kemuel Kaleni, 83, from central Kwara’ae, said he never prophesied about the earth opening up on January 16 and swallowing unbelievers.
He also denied telling his followers that a ship loaded with cash and cargo, guided by planes, will arrive in Auki on that day.
“These are fabricated reports intended to spoil my group. I’ve never tell anyone about all these made up stories,” Mr Kaleni said.
He explained January 16 that a lot of people talked about is a special day in the Jewish calendar.
“When I mentioned January 16 as Jewish special day, some people misinterpreted it and claim a ship will arrive in Malaita with cash and cargo on that day.
“I never say that.
“It’s the people out there who are spreading rumours and lies about January 16.”
Mr Kaleni also denied instructing members of his group to sell their valuables because the world is ending on January 16
“Well I didn’t instruct anyone to sell their properties. I have not received any cash or valuables from members of my group either.
“If they’ve sold their properties, it may be at their own accord because they wanted to earn some money,” he said.
Auki police brought the religious leader to the provincial capital yesterday for his safe keeping following claims he may be attacked.
But he was released later in the afternoon.
He said his group is still part of the South Seas Evangelical Church (SSEC).
He also dismissed claims that his group goes with the name “Message of the Kingdom”.
“The message that I’ve been preaching is about the kingdom.
“God is the last kingdom and I’ve been encouraging men, women, youths, and children to return to God’s kingdom.
“It appeared people have misunderstood my teachings and took the message wrongly.
“In my teachings, I don’t talk against anyone or any church for that matter.
“I only advise people to repent from their sins and return to serve the Lord.
“I am surprised that my teachings and messages have been misinterpreted and taken out of context.”
Reports from Mr Kaleni’s village said members of the group spent Tuesday night (January 16) feasting and fellowshipping.
Mr Kaleni has also denied claims that he had declared himself a prophet and king of Malaita.
“I never made those claims because I am just a church pastor,” he said.
He said he was upset at all the rumours and claims that have been spread about him and his group over the past days.