Pastor Ezekiel Odero of the New Life Church in Kilifi County has been arrested by police officers and taken in for questioning.
Pastor Ezekiel arrested, church shut down [Video]
Pastor Ezekiel has been arrested as authorities suspect links to Paul Mackenzie.
The arrest was confirmed by Coast regional coordinator Rhoda Onyancha adding that Pastor Ezekiel's Mavueni mega-church has also been closed as investigations begin.
Preliminary reports indicate that the authorities are holding him on suspicion that he might be an accomplice of cult leader Paul Mackenzie Nthenge whose 'fasting cult' has been exposed over recent weeks.
How Pastor Ezekiel Odero rose to fame
The Kilifi-based pastor rose to prominence after a major church service he organised at the Moi Sports Centre (Kasarani Stadium) in Nairobi on November 27, 2022.
Baffled at how he managed to fill the 60,000-capacity stadium, many began to question and interrogate the miracles he claimed to have performed.
Deputy Rigathi Gachagua's wife, Pastor Dorcas Gachagua, seemed to have lent credibility to Pastor Ezekiel after attending and participating at the Kasarani mega rally.
Pastor Ezekiel continued to make headlines with an online presence, posting his services on video-sharing platforms, and in December 2022, YouTube listed him as the second top Kenyan video creator on their platform.
In February 2023, Pastor Ezekiel once again made headlines with a generous donation of Sh6.6 million toward the education of less privileged high school students in Kilifi.
“This is Sh6,650,000 which is going to help our children’s education. You are the future of this country and when you complete school and get jobs please do not export your expertise to foreign countries but we should build our own country,” he stated at the time.
Kilifi County's chief officer for Education, Frederick Nguma, spoke on behalf of the county government, thanking Pastor Odero and noting that his contribution was unprecedented in the area.
Pastor Ezekiel has also been threatened with a lawsuit over a supposed 'cleansing miracle' during which he tainted the reputation of Milele Funeral Burial and Benevolent Services which operates a morgue near his church.
Johnson Amani, who heads Coastal Links Investment Limited, the company that operates the funeral home, has stated that Milele Funeral Services is operational and that Ezekiel's remarks are false.
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