What you need to know:
- The churches and the association, the registrar said, stood deregistered as at May 19, 2023.
- Mackenzie, a suspected cult leader, is alleged to have forced his supporters to fast to death in order to meet Jesus.
The government has deregistered five churches including cult leader Paul Mackenzie's Goodnews International Ministries and flamboyant millionaire Pastor Ezekiel Odero's Newlife Prayer Centre.
According to notice by the Registrar of Societies dated August 18, the State has also deregistered Bishop Thomas Wahome's Helicopter of Christ Church. Others are Theophilus Church in Nairobi and and Kings Outreach Church.
The churches, the registrar said, stood deregistered as at May 19, 2023.
Mackenzie, a suspected cult leader, is alleged to have forced his supporters to fast to death in order to meet Jesus. Hundreds of bodies have since been recovered from a vast swathe of land linked to him in Shakahola, Kilifi County.
The Helicopter church founder was recently linked to land grabbing in Lang’ata Constituency, and building iron sheet houses on the same grabbed land which sits on Nairobi Dam riparian land.
According to Nairobi County, the Temporary Occupation Licence (TOL) for the church had been canceled in 2016, indicating that the county should reclaim its land.
The Registrar said that she exercised her powers under section 12 (1) of the Societies Act, which allows her to do so on the reasonable cause to believe that the registration of a society should be cancelled.
Among the reasons highlighted under Section 12 (1) of the Societies Act is when the society is likely to pursue, or to be used for, any unlawful purpose or any purpose prejudicial to or incompatible with peace, welfare or good order in Kenya or the interests of peace, welfare, or good order in Kenya would be prejudiced by the continued registration of the society.
Early this year, the Communications Authority (CA) suspended television stations owned by Pastor Ezekiel and Mackenzie for airing exorcism content.
CA Director-General Ezra Chiloba stated that World Televangelism TV and Times TV aired inappropriate content on exorcism during the watershed period. Pastor Ezekiel’s television station was however reopened later after a court order.
Also, the Registrar has cancelled the registration of Royal Park Home Owners Estate Association Langata, an action which was carried on June 19.