Nairobi — Controversial televangelist Paul Mackenzie, of the Good News International Church was engaged in activities that contradict his own teachings on food deprivation.
Despite urging his followers to starve themselves to death, recent revelations show that Mackenzie was also rearing bees, involved in food crop production and constructing dams for irrigation within the expansive 800-acre estate linked to him.
This came to light on Thursday when Interior cabinet secretary Kithure Kindiki accompanied by senior security officers visited Mackenzie’s homestead inside the Shakahola forest where the search, rescue and exhumation exercise of his victims is currently ongoing.
Mackenzie is accused of inciting and possibly forcing his followers to starve themselves to death as the “only path to Jesus.”
The controversial preacher has not yet been required to enter a plea but on May 10 a court ordered him to be detained for three more weeks pending further investigations over what has been dubbed the “Shakahola Forest Massacre”.
The 50-year-old founder of the Good News International Church turned himself in on April 14 after police acting on a tip-off first entered Shakahola forest.
While starvation appears to be the main cause of death, some of the victims — including children — were strangled, beaten or suffocated, according to chief government pathologist Johansen Oduor.
Questions have been raised about how Mackenzie, a father of seven, managed to evade law enforcement despite a history of extremism and previous legal cases.
The horrific saga has stunned Kenyans and led President William Ruto to set up a commission of inquiry into the deaths and a task force to review regulations governing religious bodies.
Source : AllAfrica