Kenya authorities stated Thursday that they had arrested one other pastor over suspected deaths at his church as police widen an investigation following dozens of deaths linked to a cult chief.
Ezekiel Odero, the pinnacle of the New Life Prayer Centre and Church, was arrested within the coastal city of Malindi following “allegations of the deaths which were occurring at his premises,” stated Rhoda Onyancha, the federal government commissioner for the area.
“We have now additionally taken motion and closed the prayer centre going ahead,” she informed reporters, with out elaborating additional on the character of the allegations towards Odero or his church.
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Police haven’t related him to Paul Mackenzie Nthenge, the alleged cult chief below investigation for the deaths of 98 folks linked to his church additionally based mostly within the coastal area.
Odero, wearing his signature all-white garb and clutching a Bible, was transferred from Malindi to the regional police headquarters in Mombasa for questioning.
A rich televangelist who attracts big crowds — his church south of Malindi can seat 40,000 — Odero claims that “holy” scraps of fabric offered at his mega-rallies can heal illness.
The federal government has promised a crackdown on fringe denominations after the invention of dozens of our bodies within the final week on a property close to Malindi belonging to Nthenge.
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The self-styled preacher is accused of urging his followers to starve themselves to loss of life as a path to God.
Most of these present in mass graves have been youngsters, and police worry the loss of life toll may rise as their search widens.
At the least 22 folks have been arrested over the grotesque saga to date.
Efforts to manage Kenya’s dizzying array of church buildings and ministries have failed previously, regardless of high-profile incidents of cults and rogue pastors being concerned in crime.
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Questions have emerged about how Nthenge was in a position to preach regardless of attracting police consideration six years in the past.
He was arrested in 2017 on costs of “radicalisation” after urging households to not ship their youngsters to high school, saying schooling was not recognised by the Bible.
Nthenge was arrested once more final month, in response to native media, after two youngsters starved to loss of life within the custody of their mother and father.
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He was launched on bail of 100,000 Kenyan shillings ($700) however surrendered to police after a raid on his property uncovered our bodies.
Nthenge is because of seem in court docket on Might 2.
© Agence France-Presse