Chief of huge Kenyan dying cult to be held with out bond

  • A courtroom in Kenya gave police a five-day extension to carry pastor Paul Mackenzie, who faces attainable terrorism prices within the deaths of no less than 110 of his congregants, with out bond.
  • Mackenzie allegedly began a cult, the place he satisfied followers residing at an 800-acre coastal property to starve themselves to dying with a view to “meet Jesus.”
  • A second pastor with ties to Mackenzie, Ezekiel Odero, who additionally had quite a few congregants die in an unrelated incident, has been launched on a 3 million shilling ($22,000) bond.

A courtroom in Kenya on Friday gave police 5 extra days to carry a pastor going through attainable terror-related prices within the deaths of greater than 100 his congregants, lots of whom are believed to have starved to dying.

Police rescued 15 emaciated parishioners from the 800-acre Kilifi County property of Paul Mackenzie final month. 4 of them died after the group was taken to a hospital, and survivors advised investigators the pastor had instructed them to quick to dying earlier than the world ends so they may meet Jesus.

A search of Mackenzie’s property, situated in a distant forested space, discovered greater than 100 our bodies and dozens of mass graves dug out, authorities have mentioned. Autopsies on the our bodies had been ongoing, however accomplished ones confirmed a few of the buried individuals had died of hunger, strangulation or suffocation.


Mackenzie was arrested two weeks in the past for alleged hyperlinks to cultism. A decrease courtroom freed him this week however he was rearrested and offered to the next courtroom. Police have mentioned their investigations pointed to indicators of radicalization.

The courtroom that ordered Mackenzie held for 5 extra days is contemplating an software for an additional 90-day detention.

The pastor was arrested twice earlier than — in 2019 and in March of this 12 months — in reference to the deaths of youngsters. He was launched on bond each instances, and people circumstances are nonetheless continuing by the courtroom system.

Kenyan pastor Paul Mackenzie is being held with out bond for no less than 5 extra days. Mackenzie is suspected to have led a cult and satisfied no less than 110 of its followers to starve themselves to dying to “meet Jesus.” (AP Picture)

Kenyan President William Ruto on Friday fashioned a committee of inquiry into the deaths.

Ruto tasked the committee with establishing the circumstances beneath which individuals died and figuring out different people and organizations that will bear duty and making suggestions.

The nation’s broadcast regulator, the Kenya Movie and Classification Board, sounded the alarm in 2017 on content material televised by Mackenzie that may promote radicalization. The board’s former chairperson, Ezekiel Mutua, advised native media that the content material was taken off the air and legislation enforcement companies had been notified.


One other pastor in the identical county, Ezekiel Odero, was arrested final week in reference to the deaths of congregants at his coastal megachurch. On Thursday, a courtroom mentioned Odero may very well be launched from jail if he posted a bond within the quantity of three million Kenyan shillings (about $22,000) or money bail of 1.5 million shillings ($11,000).

Odero’s legal professionals acknowledged after his arrest that 15 individuals died at his church however mentioned the deaths had been reported at a police station as required by legislation. Police have mentioned there was no proof on the time to counsel a criminal offense was concerned.

The pastor stays beneath investigation for his ties to Mackenzie, from whom he purchased a tv channel in 2019.


Kenya’s nationwide communications authority final week suspended Odero’s TV channel for airing inappropriate content material on exorcism throughout hours when grownup programming is just not allowed.

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