A controversial Kenyan televangelist has been arrested by the Kenyan Police.
He was arrested in connection with the death of two children allegedly killed by their mother at Shakahola village.
Pastor Paul Mackenzie of the Good News International church in Malindi, Kilifi, was arrested on Wednesday evening, March 22, 2023, after a Malindi Court ordered the exhumation of the minor’s bodies.
Also listed as suspects in the children’s death are their parents Mr. Isaac Ngala and Emily Kaunga.
According to Kenya’s Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), the children are believed to have been starved and later suffocated to death by their mother with the intention of becoming ‘heroes before God after death’.
The mother is a worshipper in the pastor Mackenzie’s church.
According to the investigating officer, Joseph Yator drawn from the Directorate of Criminal Investigation in Malindi, police managed to rescue a third child.
“The rescued child narrated the sufferings his two siblings underwent after being starved for some time before their mother suffocated them to death,” the DPP said
The three are suspected of burying the two minors on March 16 and 17, respectively, in a shallow grave at Shakahola village, Kilifi County.
“The government pathologist and officers from DCI Malindi will supervise the exhumation exercise, and the sub-county police commander and area OCS will provide security. Exhumed bodies will be examined, and DNA and toxicological samples taken,” the DPP said.
Malindi police boss, John Kemboi confirmed the arrest of the pastor and said more details from preliminary investigations into the incident would be released on Thursday morning.
The report will also detail how many more children could have succumbed due to negligence from their parents after the radicalization in the pastor’s church.
Mr. Francis Wanje claimed two of his grandchildren died after their parents received teachings from the pastor, who forced the children to fast until they died.
Speaking to journalists during the operation to arrest the pastor, he said that the main suspect has been claiming that there are disasters that may be witnessed in the near future and therefore it is good for the children to die so that they can inherit the kingdom of heaven.
“Two of my grandchildren have already been buried, and the one who has been left was already preparing him to die and rest. Their pastor told them that there are disasters that are coming soon and they should not be given food until they die. My grandchildren died in those weird circumstances and now we are happy detectives have arrested the pastor,” said Mr Wanje.
In 2017, Mr Mackenzie and his wife Joyce Mwikamba were charged with promoting radicalisation.
They were also charged with failing to provide basic education to their three children.