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Inside Pastor Ezekiel’s Mega-City Project in Kilifi

He sells anointed handkerchiefs and water for Ksh100 each, with his followers maintaining that the items are holy.

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Pastor Ezekiel Odero of New Life Church in Kilifi, known to many simply as Pastor Ezekiel, was earlier this week arrested over ‘cult-like practices’. His arrest followed the uncovering of a cult led by one Pastor Mackenzie also in Kilifi county, where over 60 bodies were found, suspected to have starved themselves on Mackenzie’s instructions.

Pastor Ezekiel is known for claiming to perform various miracles including healing the sick and has drawn thousands of congregants, with some even travelling from neighboring countries. He sells anointed handkerchiefs and water for Ksh100 each, with his followers maintaining that the items are holy.

The Pastor has amassed great wealth. He drove himself to a Mombasa police station in a sleek, white Lexus LX570. His church sits on a 65-acre piece of land in Kilifi on which he is developing a city.

Currently, the area includes tarmac and cabro-paved roads built by Ezekiel, with flags of various nations lining the roads. The roads lead up to, among other facilities, his New Life Church which has a capacity of over 40,000 congregants. The church has been closed by police following Ezekiel’s arrest.

On the vast land also sits a fully-fledged hotel, which Ezekiel says is meant to host guests ‘from all over the world’ who visit his church. Construction has also been ongoing on what are meant to be shopping malls complete with supermarkets once complete.

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A hospital and rehabilitation centre are also to be constructed on the land. The facility also includes a helipad.

Ezekiel has previously additionally stated that New Life was keen on building cottages for its congregants. Other planned facilities include an international school and a restaurant.

The ambitious plan now looks to be in limbo with Pastor Ezekiel coming face to face with the law.

He has previously stated that he received his calling to the altar after being forced to drop out of the university in his third year due to lack of school fees. He spent years working  as an understudy and keyboard player under famous televangelist Pius Muiru at his Mombasa church before eventually setting up his own church.

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