My son is innocent, Pastor Paul Mackenzie's mother speaks

Paul Mackenzie's mother, Anastacia Mwele. [Screen grab]

Anastasia Mwele, mother to controversial Pastor Paul Mackenzie has for the first time spoken since revelations of a cult in Kilifi linked to her son surfaced.

Mwele, in an interview with NTV, claimed that Mackenzie has no case to answer.

Mackenzie's mother, a resident of Furunzi village in Malindi claimed that her son stopped preaching in 2019.

"It's painful to see everyone calling my son a killer. If indeed he was a killer, he would have killed me first. Those accusing him are his former followers," said Mwele.

Narrating her son's journey from childhood, Mwele insisted that Mackenzie has always been obedient and never harmed anyone.

"I am not defending Mackenzie but anyone that knows him knows he is a good person. During his preacher days, he taught what every preacher does, the gospel of Christ. How can a sane person be told to fast themselves to death and actually do that?" she posed.

Mackenzie's brother also broke the silence, reiterating his mother's sentiments. He said his brother, Paul Mackenzie was innocent.

"The bodies that are being exhumed might have been buried before he bought the land. It is not right to accuse my brother without any evidence or proof. If indeed he has a case to answer, let the law prove that."

Pastor Mackenzie of the Good News International Church is currently under investigation after being linked to over 100 deaths in his 800-acre piece of land in Shakahola forest, Kilifi County.

The preacher is said to have persuaded his congregants to starve to death in order to "meet Jesus".

Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki earlier in the week said the pastor would face several criminal charges including genocide and radicalization.

Authorities have so far exhumed 110 bodies and rescued over 40 people who were "fasting" in the forest.