Man burns Rasta camp over goat

October 11, 2017
Priest Gentle Edwards said the fire resulted in quite a bit of damage to their property.
A section of the property that was destroyed by fire.
A section of the property that was destroyed by fire.

Rastafarians from the Bobo Shanti group in Nine Miles, St Andrew, will be meeting today to 'reason' about how to piece their lives back together after an armed intruder started a huge fire on the premises, destroying multiple buildings, computers, and important documents last Friday.

"We normally have members of the Parliament meet with us on a Wednesday, so they will discuss the way forward tomorrow (today)," Gentle Edwards, a priest from the group, said.

Edwards told THE STAR that the intruder started the fire after his missing goat was found dead on the premises.

He said that the intruder started a fire at the gate as they were about to begin the morning devotion, Roll Call, around 6 o'clock.

"When we get there to start reading the Psalms, we heard loud noise and then we see smoke coming from the guardroom," Edwards said.

Edwards said that the intruder confronted a priest then left and came back with a firearm.

He said the man started multiple fires on the premises, destroying the conference room, the office, and two houses.

"The office is where we have all our documents, all our computers and laptops, radio and other appliances. They were all destroyed," Edwards said.

When THE STAR visited the premises yesterday, burnt rubble was stacked neatly in a heap.

Edwards confirmed that the goat was indeed found dead on the premises, but he is not sure how it was killed.

"Goats coming inside here have been a problem for some time now. We always try to keep out all animals, but we are having a problem with the fencing," Edwards said.

Reports are that the intruder fled before the police were


The Bull Bay police are still carrying out investigations.

Despite the incident, Edwards said that the Bobo Shanti group still has an open-door policy.

"We take in various kinds of people because we are here to wipe the dirty clean and set the crooked straight," Edwards said. "There is so much that was taken away from the black man that leave them traumatised. That is why we become violent against each other."

Priest Archibald, whose house was burnt to the ground, also believes that it is the trauma of slavery that caused the intruder to burn down his home.

"Black people have been going through trauma because of what the slave masters put on them. They do this for us to fight among ourselves," Archibald said.

Edwards added: "We have to keep our open-door policy because sometimes schools take trips up here, and people come from all over the Caribbean."

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