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Pastor Ezekiel Odero grilled by DCI over links to cult leader Paul Mackenzie

Pastor Ezekiel Odero of New Life Prayer Centre and Church is currently under investigation by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) for alleged indoctrination of members, following the recent deaths and recovery of bodies of suspected members of a cult led by Pastor Paul Mackenzie in Shakahola, Kilifi County.

On Tuesday, DCI officers interrogated Pastor Ezekiel concerning his doctrine and church operations. Detectives are also seeking to establish whether Pastor Odero has any ties with cult leader Pastor Mackenzie of Good News International Church.

DCI officials also inspected Milele Funeral Home in Mavueni, a mortuary near Pastor Odero’s church and questioned its management regarding potential cultic activities.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki, who inspected the exhumation operation at Shakahola, said the National Police Service (NPS) is examining flamboyant preachers whose teachings appear to be in opposition to the law.

Also read: Pastor Ben Kiengei – ‘Carry’ your brains when you go to church

“Any faith that kills people or engages in criminal activities in the name of religion must be stopped, and this is the time to stop these charlatans,” Kindiki said.

This development coincides with Nyeri Archdiocese Catholic Archbishop Anthony Muheria’s call for the financial auditing of church leaders to eliminate cultic worship in society.

“It is important that we audit the wealth of all religious leaders… all of us, including myself, should be able to declare what I have in my account,” Archbishop Muheria said, while stating that transparency is the only way to protect congregations from the greed of rogue religious leaders.

Also read: Shakahola cult deaths – 314 followers of Paul Mackenzie still missing

Archbishop Muheria accused cult leaders of exploiting the poor and vulnerable, describing the deception practiced by some religious leaders as corruption of the highest order.

“We insist that there must be laws to tame pseudo-religions, denominations, and gatherings… they’re just human creations of a person who wants to deceive,” he explained.

“I don’t think it is called brainwashing; this is a deception of the highest order where very simple, gullible people… because they’re poor and miserable… that we can cheat and enslave them where they give all their goods for the good of the religious leader,” he said.

Archbishop Muheria emphasized the need for tough measures to address what he termed as an “evil” practise.

Also read: Shakahola cult deaths: Reuben Kigame calls for tougher regulations of churches