Senate committee tours Pastor Odero's church on fact-finding mission

Ad Hoc Senate Committee chairperson Danson Mungatana, Pastor Ezekiel Odero and other officials at New Life Prayer Centre and Church in Mavueni, Kilifi County on October 16, 2023. [Kelvin Karani, Standard]

The Senate AdHoc Committee on Shakahola massacre has dismissed the allegations of a morgue and graves at the New Life Prayer Centre and Church in Mavueni, Kilifi County, where Pastor Ezekiel Odero runs his ministry.

The committee, led by Senator Danson Mungatana, visited the church premises on Monday, October 16, as part of their fact-finding mission on the claims of indoctrination and mass murder that have been levelled against Odero and his church.

“We were told there was a mortuary and graves here. We have not seen any morgue or graves as we continue with our fact-finding,” said Mungatana.

Odero, who is associated with the Shakahola massacre that claimed over 400 lives in Kilifi County, denied any involvement in the killings and distanced himself from the controversial preacher Paul Makenzi, who is the main suspect in the case.

He also said that the house alleged to be a morgue was actually a power distribution and control room for the church.

“The alleged mortuary is a power distribution for the church premises. This is where the media alleged there was a morgue. If there is any other I would love to show you,” said Odero.

He defended his wealth and his church activities, saying that they were funded by the offerings of his over 45,000 congregants. He said his church has constructed a modern swimming pool, a well-equipped laboratory and a stadium in Kilifi County.

He also faulted what he termed as a blanket condemnation of preachers in Kenya, urging the State to crack the whip on rogue pastors.

“In my ministry, I preach live but use recorded programmes at night. I do that because it makes it easier for someone to ask questions about what I preach. I also do it for the government to listen to what I preach and know what I stand for,” he said.

The committee is expected to release its report on Thursday, October 19.