Senate summons Pastor Ezekiel Odero in Shakahola deaths probe

Senate summons Pastor Ezekiel Odero in Shakahola deaths probe

File image of New Life Prayer Centre and Church Pastor Ezekiel Odero. PHOTO | COURTESY

The Senate Ad Hoc committee investigating the proliferation of religious organizations in Kenya has summoned Pastor Ezekiel Odero to appear before it on Friday at 10am.

The committee is probing the circumstances leading to the deaths of followers of controversial Good News International Church preacher Paul Mackenzie, who is presently in police custody, in Shakahola forest, Kilifi County.

Pastor Odero is expected to provide the committee with information regarding the registration and compliance status of his New Life Prayer Centre and Church, as well as its beliefs and ideology.

He will also be put to task to explain his views on extreme indoctrination and exploitation of religious followers, as well as his association with Mackenzie.

The committee, in addition, seeks to find from Pastor Odero the circumstances leading to the sale of Times TV; the source of funding for his church; and his views on regulation of religious organizations.

“Take note that should you fail to attend before the committee on the date and time specified in this Summons or to produce the documentation required by the Committee may impose upon you a fine not exceeding Ksh.500,000 or may order for your arrest pursuant to sections 19(1) and 19(3) respectively of the Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Act. 2017,” read the summons issued by the Senate Clerk.

“You may also be guilty of an offence in terms of section 27(1 )(a) (i) and 27(1)(c)(ii) respectively, of the Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Act. 2017 for which you shall be liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding two hundred thousand shillings or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to both such fine and imprisonment.”

Lawyer Danstan Omari, in response to the summons, said Pastor Odero will – during his appearance before the Committee – submit video evidence, hence sought cooperation in arranging presentation tools.

“Additionally, we hereby request an appointment at 2 pm today, October 11, 2023, as his designated legal representatives. This meeting is essential for adequate planning and coordination concerning the impending presentation. Your prompt attention to this matter will be highly appreciated,” he stated.

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Senate Danstan Omari Shakahola Paul Mackenzie Pastor Ezekiel Odero

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