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How Paul Mackenzie’s church was rocked with leadership crisis for years

Good News International Church, which is linked to cult-like leader Paul Mackenzie was marred with a leadership crisis ever since its start in 2003, Nairobi News can now reveal.

According to some of the first members of the church, the church’s leadership has been changed ever since it was founded.

At the time the church was being registered, the names of the office bearers were Mr Paul Nthenge Mackenzie as chairman, Raphael Riziki Baya (vice chairman), Smart Deri Mwakalama (secretary), Lucia Wanjiku Kinuthia (assistant secretary).

The other founding members are Sebastian Kashero (treasurer) and Alexander Muema Musango (assistant treasurer). The church mission was to preach the gospel and matters that revolve around Christianity.

Also read: Pastor Ezekiel Odero to face criminal charges related to mass killing

In 2019 Mr Mackenzie announced that he would no longer be associated with preaching the gospel and that he would venture into farming.

It is then that the leadership of the church changed and Mr Joseph Mwinzi Nzioka named as chairman, Ms Mary Wambui the secretary while Mr Sebastian Kashero maintained his position as the treasurer.

At this point in time, Mr Mackenzie had differed with a certain Ms Ruth Kadzo who had offered her compound for the services of the church to take place.

Mr Samuel Kapathe, who is the son to Ms Kadzo and who was a member of the church, said his mother differed with Mr Mackenzie over new teachings that he was introducing.

“My mother was not happy with the new teachings and she decided to do away with the church, They differed and Mr Mackenzie left with other followers, including my sister,” Mr Kapathe told the media on Thursday.

Also read: Revealed – What Pastor Ezekiel Odero has told detectives so far

Mr Kapathe said they never knew that a church they had started would later be linked with the deaths of hundreds of people. He said they tried to talk to his sister, Ms Mary Kadzo, to stop following the preacher but she didn’t listen to them.

At some point she asked her children to drop out of school and join her in the church which had already relocated to Malindi in Kilifi County.

“That is when I decided to make reports to the police in Malindi but they never acted. I also asked my sister and mother to make similar reports,” he said.

On Thursday, Ms Ruth Kadzo was part of the people who went to Shakahola Forest to have their blood taken ahead of DNA tests in order to find whether her daughter was among those whose bodies have been exhumed there.

Her son said the sister and husband went silent and their phones have been off for some time now.

So far, more than 100 bodies had been exhumed from shallow graves within Shakahola Forest. Police have also arrested and questioned Pastor Ezekiel Odero of New Life International Church in Kilifi County over his links with Mr Mackenzie.

Also read: Why GSU officers have been deployed in Shakahola Forest