‘I’m Ready To Tell The Truth,’ Pastor Ezekiel Odero Says Ahead Of Senate Appearance

Embattled Pastor Ezekiel Odero now says he is ready to tell the truth concerning his alleged involvement with fellow preacher Paul Mackenzie who is presently in police custody over religious deaths in Shakahola, Kilifi County.

The New Life Prayer Centre and Church pastor, addressing the press outside Parliament buildings on Friday morning, is set to appear before the Senate Ad Hoc committee investigating the proliferation of religious organizations in Kenya.

Ezekiel, accompanied by his lawyers Danstan Omari and Cliff Ombeta, seemingly distanced himself from the charges facing Mackenzie over the deaths his followers in Shakahola.

“This is the only time that the church can defend the cross; it is not about me, it is about the Gospel. Today is a day that we talk about what happened, and the future of the Gospel; there is a generation waiting for us tomorrow,” he stated.

Lawyer Ombeta noted: “He will answer questions regarding his church and its activities. A lot has been said; good, bad, whatever. Today when they ask those questions, the answers shall come about.”

Omari, on his part, stated that Mackenzie was also summoned by the Senate committee hence is also scheduled to make an appearance alongside.

“Today Pastor Mackenzie of Shakahola will be in the Senate. The media should capture the difference between Pastor Ezekiel and Pastor Mackenzie. Summons have been issued for Pastor Mackenzie to be in Senate today,” he said.

“The DCI and the IG will also be in Senate, so today is a big day; all the stakeholders, those real actors in Shakahola like Mackenzie, and those actors being dragged there like Pastor Ezekiel and yet he has nothing to do with Shakahola, have their day and Kenyans to see the difference.”

Pastor Odero is expected to provide the Senate committee with information regarding the registration and compliance status of his New Life Prayer Centre and Church, as well as its beliefs and ideology.

He will also be put to task to explain his views on extreme indoctrination and exploitation of religious followers, as well as his association with Mackenzie.

The committee, in addition, seeks to find from Pastor Odero the circumstances leading to the sale of Times TV; the source of funding for his church; and his views on regulation of religious organizations.

“Take note that should you fail to attend before the committee on the date and time specified in this Summons or to produce the documentation required by the Committee may impose upon you a fine not exceeding Ksh.500,000 or may order for your arrest pursuant to sections 19(1) and 19(3) respectively of the Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Act. 2017,” read the summons issued by the Senate Clerk.

“You may also be guilty of an offence in terms of section 27(1 )(a) (i) and 27(1)(c)(ii) respectively, of the Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Act. 2017 for which you shall be liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding two hundred thousand shillings or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to both such fine and imprisonment.”

Lawyer Omari, in response to the summons, said Pastor Odero will – during his appearance before the Committee – submit video evidence, hence sought cooperation in arranging presentation tools.

“Additionally, we hereby request an appointment at 2 pm today, October 11, 2023, as his designated legal representatives. This meeting is essential for adequate planning and coordination concerning the impending presentation. Your prompt attention to this matter will be highly appreciated,” he stated.

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