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Raila meets Pastor Ezekiel, KOT reacts

Kenyans on Twitter (KOT) have shared varied reactions after prominent politician Raila Odinga paid a courtesy call on controversial Pastor Ezekiel Odero.

Mr Odinga, a presidential candidate in the 2022 polls, accompanied by the controversial pastor’s lawyer Cliff Ombeta and Kilifi governor Gideon Mung’aro, visited the Pastor’s expansive church at the coast, amid investigations into his alleged involvement in several crimes.

Sources said Mr Odinga was shocked by the premises the preacher has built in Mavueni, Kilifi County, and all the facilities therein, including an international school, a farm and the New Life Prayer Centre and Church that hosts at least 50,000.

“He is shocked by what he saw and heard. They are parallel. A project of great possibilities and no sign of anything that he has been accused of, including any criminal activities,” said the source who also dined with the preacher, Mr Odinga and Kilifi Governor Gideon Mung’aro.

A section of KOT interpreted the visit as an attempt to support him despite his controversial dealings.

“Lakini Baba (Mr Odinga) always lets us down. How do you visit Ezekiel Odero who is a suspect in the mass killing with (Pastor) Makenzie? He just confused those of us who have been criticizing Makenzie, Odero, Dorcas Rigathi and the State House pretenders. The handlers messed up yesterday big!” one twitter user opined.

“Baba visiting Pastor Ezekiel shows clearly who is the owner of religious cult in this country. Ezekiel is a close associate of Mackenzie,” tweeted one user Peter Kariuki.

The visit also sparked a wider conversation on social media about the role of religion in politics and the need for political leaders to maintain a clear separation between church and state.

Some argued that Raila Odinga’s visit to Pastor Ezekiel Mutua’s home was a clear violation of this principle, while others defended the right of political leaders to engage with religious leaders and communities.

“I see no problem with Baba Baba visiting Shakahola and giving Pst. Ezekiel a listen. There’s no template or rule book to some of these things, and morality is something that Kenyans shouldn’t pretend to be worried about right now “Leave Baba to be called Baba”,” Tweeted Kipkalya Kones

Pastor Ezekiel was recently arrested and detained in relation to the deaths of over 100 people in Shakahola, Kilifi County.

Most of the deaths, according to government sources, were caused by starving and strangling. The deceased were buried found by authorities buried in shallow graves.

Pastor Ezekiel has maintained his innocence.

Another Pastor namely Paul Mackenzie, is still in custody in relation to this incident.

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