A VISITING pastor from Botswana is likely to face legal action for using without permission some pictures of a child who has a problem with a protruding tongue to sell his books. Pastor Kenaope Kenaope, who told The Namibian that he is also a doctor and an author, uploaded posters with the pictures of Emilia Paulus (2) with the caption 'Project Emilia 4 000' on social media. Kenaope is the president of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church of Botswana. Paulus has been in the local papers recently, where her mother appealed for help to enable the girl to go for an operation. Kenaope's poster says he will donate N$100 000 to Emilia if people buy 4 000 copies of his two books. The poster further says that an extra N$50 000 will be given to 10 selected people for supporting the project. The poster says those who want to participate can contact Base FM for the account details.
Namibian Police have confirmed that a case has been opened against the pastor. Emilia's mother, Emilian Joel Paulus Shisaande, said she never gave her consent for the pastor to advertise her daughter's pictures. Shisaande said she met Kenaope when he came to the hospital to pray for Emilia. “He said nothing about money. He just told me that he is a pastor and a doctor, and then prayed. That is all,” Shisaande stated. The Namibian Women Lawyers' Association (NWLA) has already opened a criminal case against pastor Kenaope's non-profit organisation. Talking to The Namibian, Kenaope said he is from Botswana, and he heard about Emilia on Base FM before coming to Namibia for business on 1 September this year. His mistake, he admitted, was that he did not find out how things are done in Namibia. “I wanted to assist. I don't know what to say. I needed my books to sell in Namibia. That is why, but Emilia is not the first one. I have helped a lot of people in the past. I cannot reveal who they are on this platform,” Kenaope said. The pastor said he also spoke to some American doctors to help Emilia, but because people, especially the NWLA, is doubting him, he will drop everything.
“I am going to tell the American doctors that the Namibians are having a problem with me assisting Emilia so that we cancel everything,” Kenaope said. NWLA chairperson Ruth Herunga said they had learnt with great disappointment about the pastor's actions. “How does selling his books have anything to do with Emilia? It is against this background that we assisted Emilia's mother to register a case against this organisation with the police,” she said. Herunga further stated that one of the NWLA's main objectives is the protection of the rights of all women, children and vulnerable members of Namibian society. The NWLA said any contributions for Emilia's cause should be deposited into their trust account, whose details are: Emilia Paulus Trust E-Bank, Account Number 7001058226, Branch Code: 882 000. Base FM declined to comment on the issue, and referred The Namibian to the pastor. [The Namibian]