Pastor Ezekiel: I Have no Link With Mackenzie’s Shakahola Deaths

Pastor Ezekiel: I Have no Link With Mackenzie’s Shakahola Deaths

Televangelist Ezekiel Odero has distanced himself from Pastor Paul Mackenzi who is suspected of indoctrinating his followers to starve to death.

In a new affidavit sworn by Odero through lawyer Danstan Omari, Odero says he is not close to Mackenzie. He says their relationship was purely commercial.

The New Life Prayer Centre and Church preacher said he does not support any of Mackenzie’s controversial teachings.

He says he started the ministry in 2010 in Mtwapa and has denied burying anyone at Shakahola as claimed.

Odero said he has never been at the forest because it is very far from Mavueni, his area of operation.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the infamous Shakahola is approximately 200 kilometers from my church and it is unimaginable that I am capable of transporting dead bodies to the forest which I have never been to,” Odero states in the affidavit.

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He further argues that he should not be punished for having a failed commercial transaction with Mackenzie in the past.

“At the outset, I would wish to strongly disassociate myself from one Paul Mackenzie as we do not have any close family or friendly ties. Moreover, my teachings, initiatives and focus in and out of church are completely at variance with those that Mackenzie is feared to be advocating for,” the preacher states in his affidavit.

Odero was arrested on April 27 after his church was linked to the discovery of the Shakahola mass graves where 110 bodies have so far been dug out.

He told police through lawyer Cliff Ombeta that only 15 congregants of his church have died. All the deaths, he said, were reported to police.

Odero states in his affidavit that he never bought Times TV from Mackenzie as claimed by police but confirms that they indeed met around three times when he was trying to buy the TV station which belonged to Mackenzie, but the deal never went through.

He says he met Mackenzie for the first time during the negotiations for the TV station which they agreed to purchase at Sh3 million. He paid Sh500,000 as down payment.

Odero further says that because he was not in agreement with the teachings of Mackenzi, he was determined to rebrand the whole Times TV station in order to give it a new and fresh look and purpose.

“I wish to categorically state that I do not own Times TV and that I equally don’t own or run a hospital or a mortuary. For the avoidance of doubt, the private mortuary that is close to New Life Prayer Centre and Church is approximately 11 kilometers away and is not in any way associated with the church,” he states in the affidavit.

The preacher further says that he acquired another frequency that birthed World Evangelism TV and consequently abandoned the oral agreement between himself and Mackenzie.

The Communications Authority of Kenya has since closed the two TV stations as the two preachers remain in police custody.

Odero has contested his detention saying it’s unwarranted.

“There is no exceptional circumstances in this case or grave public interest in the matter that would warrant my continued detention under police custody.

“In any event, it is wholly unlawful for the state to close my Television Station, frustrate my ministry at New Life Prayer Center and Church and threaten the freezing of the church bank accounts,” Odero states in his affidavit.

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