Ezekiel Mutua: We flagged Paul Mackenzie's radical content years ago

Former Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) CEO, Ezekiel Mutua. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Former Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) CEO, Ezekiel Mutua, now says that his office flagged radical content produced by controversial preacher, Paul Mackenzie, five years ago.

Speaking on Citizen TV's on Monday, April 24, Mutua revealed that in 2017, his office had identified a worrying trend in Mackenzie's productions on Good News International Church digital TV, which he ran.

According to Mutua, the content of Mackenzie's productions bordered on radicalization. Mackenzie was allegedly teaching people to break the law, including urging his followers not to take their children to school, not to take medications when unwell, nor obey the government.

After his office raised the alarm, Mutua said, the program was suspended. He stated that it was painful to learn that some of the things pastor Mackenzie was producing were very horrifying.

"We saw the danger and raised our voice against it. We did not just impose a ban on his programs and keep quiet. We went public that it was dangerous," Mutua added.

Mutua served as KFCB CEO between October 2015 and August 2021. He currently serves as Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) Chief Executive Officer.

The former KFCB Chief Executive explained that his office's responsibility was to protect children from exposure to harmful content and false information, which became more intensified with the advent of digital migration and the rise of fake news.

He faulted government agencies for allowing what he termed as profanity and obscenity as a way of life and drama to go unchecked, calling on individuals to take responsibility for the content they produce.

"The illegal activities were known by relevant government agencies, but some decided to look the other way," he said.

"It is unfortunate that all this clout-chasing has been taken to church to also win numbers, and the more controversial you are, the more popular you become," Mutua added.

Mutua's claims come at a time when police continue to intensify the exhumation exercise of bodies as they investigate the activities of the Good News International Church.

On Monday, 26 more bodies were found in Shakahola village in Kilifi County, bringing the total number of those exhumed to 73.

Mackenzie, who is in police custody, is being investigated for allegedly influencing his followers to starve to death in order to meet their maker. Police also suspect that some of the victims did not starve to death and may have been killed and then buried on the property.