State cancels crusade organised by Pastors Odero and Muiru in Machakos, lawyers say

Pastor Ezekiel Odero (in white) with his lawyers after he arrived at the Police headquarters in Mombasa. [Kelvin Karani, Standard]

State has canceled a church crusade organised by Pastors Ezekiel Odero and Pius Muiru in Machakos this weekend under unclear circumstances.

On Saturday, June 3, Odero’s lawyers led by Danstan Omari, Cliff Ombeta, Sam Nyaberi, and Dan Osoro said the police withdrew the permit after they realised that their client will be the chief guest.

Lawyer Ombeta said Odero had pumped in over Sh500,000 towards preparing for the crusade.

“Pastor Muiru had invited Odero to the crusade as a chief guest and when the police realised that he will be there, they canceled the permit saying they thought it was a Muiru-only crusade.  Our client has lost over half a million used to put up tents and other logistics,” claimed Ombeta.

Odero is a close ally of Muiru who in the past he has hailed as his spiritual father.

In November last year, Pastor Odero filled the 60,000-capacity stadium in Kasarani during a mega crusade that sparked a lot of debate on his personality.

Pastor Dorcas Rigathi, wife to Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua also attended the Kasarani crusade that spiraled Odero into the limelight.

On April 27, 2023, Odero was arrested over links to the controversial preacher Paul Makenzi who has been accused of orchestrating the Shakahola massacre that has seen over 200 bodies retrieved from graves in the Shakahola forest.

Ombeta said the State was infringing on the rights of Odero and Kenyans to fellowship together.

He said they will be seeking permits early for his Nairobi crusade, having realised that it is another huddle to cross.

“It necessitates him to look for permits and licenses for his crusades. We pray and anticipate he will get permits for the Nairobi crusade because this is totally wrong and an infringement of his rights to worship,” said Ombeta.

He said despite police raiding the church and confiscating prayer clothes and holy water, police are yet to give any results.

“Why are we looking for an offence that doesn't exist? The permit was in Muiru’s name…why cancel the crusade? There is a fight and we don't know who is causing it and who we are fighting,” said Ombeta.

Nyaberi said the crusade was meant to reach people who are not able to attend the church in Mavueni, Kilifi County.

He added they will be seeking a clarification from the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) on Monday if they have concluded the investigations, as Odero reports to their offices in Mombasa on Monday, June 5 as ordered by the Shanzu court.