The registration of the Newlife Prayer Centre and Church, which is connected to Pastor Ezekiel Odero and was recently the subject of a money laundering and cult investigation, has been revoked by the Registrar of Societies.
In a move to crack down on religious organizations, Pastor Ezekiel’s Kilifi-based center is one of five churches whose registrations have been cancelled.
Helicopter of Christ Church, Theophilus Church, Kings Outreach Church, and Goodnews International Ministries are a few other churches that have had their registrations revoked.
Thomas Wahome is the pilot of the Christ Church helicopter. He was recently charged with stealing land for the Nairobi Dam. The umbrella churches linked to Prophet David Owuor were disbanded by Kings Outreach Church.
The controversial Shakahola cult leader Pastor Paul Mackenzie is the owner of Goodnews International Ministries, whose church grounds have seen the exhumation of over 450 dead.
“In exercise of the powers conferred by section 12 (1) of the Societies Act, the Registrar of Societies cancels the registration of the societies specified in the first column of the Schedule, with effect from the respective dates specified in the third column of the Schedule,” Registrar of Societies Maria Nyariki.
Kenyans have complained over the proliferation of rogue churches that ride on the separation of the poor to mint billions.
Theophilus Church has facilities in Githurai and Njatha-Ini run by Bishop John Githiri and Rev Rachael wa Kuria.
Pastor Ezekiel was arrested on April 27, and arraigned in court on accounts of conspiracy to commit crime and money laundering but he was not formally charged.
He was released on bail on May 12. Pastor Ezekiel denied all the charges against him and has maintained that he is innocent.
Ezekiel sued the government in July to seek compensation for the bodily, financial, reputational and emotional investigation.
In the petition filed before Justice Olga Sewe on Thursday, July 20, Pastor Ezekiel listed the Attorney General, Inspector General of Police, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Communications Authority of Kenya CEO Ezra Chiloba, Ministry of Interior and Directorate of Criminal Investigations as respondents.