Elijah Masinde of Dini Ya Msambwa fame.

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Village Elder
Few Kenyans know that the legendary leader of Dini ya Msambwa Elijah Masinde Okhwa Nameme hid in a secret bunker for three years, eluding the British soldiers for much longer than Iraqi's Saddam Hussein dodged the Americans.

The executed Iraqi dictator was captured from a manhole in his Tikrit home town after only a few months.
But Masinde head of the Church of Spirits (Dini Ya Msambwa) evaded the British for three years, holed up in a bunker at Sulwe village on the foot of Mount Elgon.

Sulwe means star and it was given to the village by the locals because it is a place of hope especially in the days of Masinde as he was sought by the colonial government for preaching rebellion.
Today the bunker remains one of the outstanding treasures in Bungoma county, although possibly unknown to the National Museums of Kenya.

The oval bunker is 4.5 metres high and about 3.5 metres wide. The furniture comprised a stool and a table. It is a heritage fit to be declared a national monument.
A corrugated iron sheet house within the compound was erected to conceal the bunker.
It is said that Masinde would not have been found had he not been betrayed by a certain chief working for the colonial government. The chief was promised promotion and an additional pay package for his troubles.

The man who conceived the idea of the bunker was one Jonathan Mabonga, a World War II veteran who had seen it all while in combat overseas.
The bunker is revered by the sect members. Before entering it, visitors must remove their shoes and follow steps into the dark oval shaped interior.

Masinde was arrested in 1948 and detained for 14 years moving from Kapenguria, Hola and Lamu.At Kapenguria,he was detained alongside Mzee Kenyatta.
The reason for his arrest was his agitation that Mzungu Arudi Ulaya. The British considered him a trouble maker.

Masinde had six wives, 13 sons and 12 daughters.
In a bizarre incidence after his death, his sons Simiyu waliaula and Sitati Simiyu said Masinde had shown local elders where he would have preferred to be buried. However the elders did not believe them and had different ideas on where to bury him. The elders dug the grave in a wrong place and were astonished to find a skeleton of nobody could remembered. Then they had to uproot a tree and prepare a new grave in the place Masinde had indicated and where his Mausoleum stands!


Village Elder
These people must have been very intelligent. They could see that the white man was an enemy then and even stand up to him. He even devised a religion to win a following.
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