Malindi family that co-founded Mackenzie’s church lost 7 kin, they claim police ignored 5 reports

The family of the co-founder of the Good News International Church which is feared to have lost seven family members in Shakahola is blaming the police in Malindi for failing to act on numerous reports about the church's activities.

The family of Ruth Kadzo, who was the initial founder of the church, says it raised the alarm over the safety of their loved ones in the cult multiple times but police refused to act.

They told Citizen TV that they were ousted from the church when the controversial preacher Paul Mackenzie pulled a coup on the church’s leadership and turned the teachings into cultic practices. 

An 80-year-old Kadzo stared forlornly into space as she joined members of her family at the Malindi sub-county morgue where they had been called to provide DNA samples to help them ascertain whether her daughter, grandchildren and great-grandchild are among the bodies being held here.

Kadzo is a co-founder of the Good News International Church, now associated solely with Mackenzie, but she says it wasn’t always like that.

Samuel Kapathe is one of Kadzo’s children and a former member of the church; he showed Citizen TV the church’s humble roots in their compound in Kisumu Ndogo, Malindi town.

He said his mother founded the church alongside Mackenzie in the early 2000s.

“Alianza hapa mama, waliojiunga nao akiwemo Paul Mackenzie, wakaendelea kukua na tukawapa nafasi, hapa nje jinsi ushirika ulivokuwa,” Kapathe explained.

Samuel says his family soon fell out with Mackenzie when he started teaching contrary to the family’s beliefs.

“Mackenzie alianza kufunza kwamba kusuka nywele ni nyambi, simu ni dhambi, masomo ni dhambi, kinyume na jinsi sisi tulivolelewa,” he said.

Mackenzie soon left and relocated to Furunzi area of Malindi where he set up the church’s headquarters that operated on the controversial teachings until 2019 when it was shut down.

Samuel says while the rest of the family left the church, his sister and her husband, Mary and Smith, stayed on, strictly following the church’s teachings. 

Mary and her five children and grandchild are now missing, and the family blames the police for their inaction.

“Mimi mwenyewe nilienda kupiga report Malindi mara mbili, ndugu yangu pia akaenda kupiga report, hata kuna wakati mwingine tukamchukua mama yetu aende kupiga ripoti kuongeza uzito lakini polisi wakasema ni mambo ya imani ya watiu wazima,” Samuel narrated.

While the security agents in the region continue to be blamed for failing to act, this family is now turning its focus and energies on finding out exactly what happened to their kin, who may have fallen victim to the church-turned-cult whose birth they were part of.


Citizen Digital Kilifi Citizen TV Kenya Shakahola Paul Mackenzie

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