The government on Wednesday, May 10 issued cancellation notices to controversial pastors Ezekiel Odero and Paul Mackenzie, through the Registrar of Societies, informing them of the looming closures of their churches.
According to Registrar of Societies Jane Joram, Attorney General Justin Muturi revealed that Mackenzie’s Good News International church needed to provide cause to prevent the government from shutting it down.
Mackenzie’s church had claimed that in 2022, it sought to change its name and officials, but this was rejected as the move did not adhere to the provisions of the society’s act.
As for Pastor Ezekiel’s church, the AG’s office noted that while the organization meets all the conditions at the time of registration, it has failed to file tax returns since its registration in 2012.
Appearing before the Senate committee investigating the Shakahola mass graves, Joram indicated that the pastor was directed to show cause why his licence should not be revoked.
The registrar warned that the pastors’ church would cease operations if officials failed to convince the government of the accusations against it.
“We took the liberty to send out cancellation notices to these churches because of the activities that have come to the fore.
“Since its registration, they have not complied with the requirements of the Societies Act, no returns have been filed and we have issued them with a notice to show cause,” Deputy Registrar of Societies Goretti Nyariki stated.
It was also noted that the church was also facing investigations of running a cult.
Muturi had explained that his office failed to respond in time against Mackenzie’s church given that it did not have an office in Kilifi County.
“The Registrar’s office only has offices in 14 regions. If we were in Kilifi may we would have noticed what was happening,” he stated.
The move by the government notably came after Pastor Ezekiel was offered a win after he was allowed to access his New Life Prayer Centre and Church in Kilifi County.
Mombasa Presiding Judge Olga Sewe granted the televangelist and his followers access to the church, overruling Coast Region Coordinator Rhoda Onyancha’s directive which suspended church activities.
Judge Sewe had directed that the services at the church should not be interfered with pending the determination of Pastor Ezekiel’s request to stop the freezing of his 16 bank accounts and reopen his TV station World Evangelism TV.