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Police shut down Pastor Ezekiel’s five-day mega crusade in Kilifi

The misfortunes facing preacher pastor Ezekiel Odero of the New Life International Centre continued on Thursday (today) after police in Kilifi, for the second time in a week, stopped a five-day mega crusade that he had planned to host along the Kilifi-Mombasa highway.

Last week, Kilifi North Sub County Police Commander Kenneth Maina said they could not allow the crusade to take place at Kwa Kenga wa Mumba farm in Mwezang’ombe area since they had not been informed within the legally required time.

The preacher was to hold his crusade from last week, Wednesday, September 27, to Sunday, October 1, but postponed it to this week after police advised him to notify them on time.

Since last Friday, the crusade was highly publicised in different media platforms as the preacher’s faithful were also seen distributing fliers to the public, inviting them to the ‘Kilifi Revival Crusade’.

The church had even erected banners along major and busy roads in Kilifi town publicising the event.

In a charitable move, the church went ahead to distribute food donations of maize flour, beans and cooking oil prior to the crusade, which then started on Wednesday.

Inside sources told Nation that the food drive took place from house to house on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Come Wednesday, the food was distributed to the multitude of congregants who turned up for the crusade which was led by Mr Odero from morning hours to about 6pm.

On Thursday morning, the Kilifi North Sub County Police Commander wrote a letter to the preacher, informing him that his request to hold the crusade had been declined because of security issues.

“It’s true we have stopped the crusade due to security issues that we cannot disclose, but we had a talk with Pastor Ezekiel’s lawyer Danstan Omari today morning (Thursday) over the issues and he understood the reason behind our move and promised to follow up the issues,” said Maina while confirming the letter’s authenticity to Nation.

A press briefing that had been planned by the preacher’s representatives was called off at the last minute with no explanation given.

The letter stated, “Be notified that your request to hold the said crusade/prayers has been declined due to security reasons. Any further meeting or gathering held on the same grounds will be considered illegal and unlawful.”

Some faithful who had attended the Wednesday’s crusade said they came across a police vehicle full of officers on their way back home in the evening. However, they said they were not aware of the police officers’ motives.

A number of crusades planned by the preacher who attracts large crowds from across the country and internationally have been stopped before after the state linked him to controversial preacher Paul Mackenzie, who is in detention over the Shakahola deaths.

In June, the Interior Ministry prevented him from holding a crusade in Machakos. A month later, a similar meeting was stopped by authorities in Arusha, Tanzania.

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