Ezekiel Odero, a high-profile Kenyan pastor and the head of the New Life Prayer Centre and Church, appeared in court on Friday in connection with the Shakahola forest massacre. The shocking discovery of dozens of bodies in mass graves has sent shockwaves across the largely Christian nation, leading the government to promise a crackdown on fringe religious groups.
Odero, who was arrested on Thursday in the coastal town of Malindi, is accused of being involved in the “mass killing” of his followers. Prosecutors have leveled a range of charges against him, including murder, aiding suicide, abduction, radicalisation, crimes against humanity, child cruelty, fraud, and money laundering.
The case follows the recent arrest of Paul Mackenzie Nthenge, a cult leader accused of the deaths of dozens of his followers. The victims were allegedly ordered to starve themselves to death in order to find God.
The discovery of the bodies in the Shakahola forest has prompted Interior Minister Kithure Kindiki to announce a shakeup in the local police and security services. Top bosses have been transferred, although no reasons have been given for the move.
The case has sent shockwaves across the country, with many calling for greater regulation of religious groups. The government has promised to crack down on fringe religious groups that engage in illegal activities.
The wealthy televangelist was arraigned in a magistrate’s court in the port city of Mombasa. Prosecutors have asked for him to be detained for another 30 days to enable police to complete their investigations.
The case is likely to be closely watched in Kenya, where religion plays an important role in the lives of many people. The government has vowed to ensure that such incidents do not happen again and that those responsible are brought to justice.
In conclusion, the case of Ezekiel Odero and the Shakahola forest massacre has sent shockwaves across Kenya. The discovery of dozens of bodies in mass graves has led to calls for greater regulation of religious groups and a crackdown on fringe organizations that engage in illegal activities. The government has promised to ensure that those responsible are brought to justice, and the case is likely to be closely watched in the coming weeks and months.
By Mr. WWK