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HomebioPaul Mackenzie: Taxi Driver Who Went On To Become A Preacher, Acquiring...

Paul Mackenzie: Taxi Driver Who Went On To Become A Preacher, Acquiring Multi-million Property And Luring Followers To Their Deaths

For the past two weeks, Pastor Paul McKenzie has continued to send shockwaves across the world over his alleged cult.

From his 800-acre piece of land in Shakahola, Malindi in Kilifi County, more than 40 bodies have been exhumed so far with more believed to be buried there.

Through his Good News International Church, McKenzie is said to have brainwashed a section of his followers to fast to death with promises of meeting their creator.

So crazy was the radicalization that some people who were rescued from the wilderness refused to eat demanding to die to meet Jesus.

McKenzie was arrested on April 15, 2023 after being linked to the death of two children who died mysteriously.

It is said that parents of the two children were advised by the pastor to starve and suffocate the children.

After the murders, just like all deaths linked to the cult, the bodies of the deceased people are buried in shallow graves in the preacher’s vast land.

Following his arrest, the State accused him of manipulating people through skewed religious teachings in pursuit of salvation leading to deaths.

While not much was known about McKenzie, WoK dug deeper to follow the rise and fall of the ‘Man of God’ who was previously a taxi driver.

According to people who know McKenzie at a personal level, he moved to Malindi in the 1990s through his sister who was married there.

On his arrival to the coastal town, he went into the taxi business, a job that he undertook until when he left to pursue religion.

“I have known McKenzie for more than 20 years. I knew him through his sister who was married to a white man. We’ve worked together, and he was not saved by the time we knew each other,” a local told KTN News.

He explained that McKenzie started engaging in religious activities when the taxi business was on a low season.

“In the taxi business, we have the high season and the low season, one time when we were in the low season, McKenzie decided to join the church and that’s how he became a pastor,” he said.

McKenzie even recruited some of his colleagues in the taxi business to his church.

According to Adede Owalla on Facebook, he started his church, Good News International, in 2003 as a small evangelical centre.

Together with his wife, Joyce Mwikamba, the couple moved to a village called Migingo in Malindi where he set up a church.

McKenzie set up his church in a wall compound where his family lives.

In 2016, he bought a TV station, Times TV, after one of his followers allegedly sold his property in Lami at Ksh 20 million and handed over the money to the preacher.

After handing over the money, the man identified as Kennedy Mwacharo allegedly died under mysterious circumstances two months later.

He also used to money to buy properties including several cars and pieces of land in Mombasa and Malindi.

This comes even as a report on the Standard showed that an air hostess who worked with a top airline resigned from her job to join McKenzie’s cult.

She is also said to have divorced her husband, and sold her land worth Ksh 7 million and gave the money to McKenzie as tithe and offerings.

The air hostess flew from Nairobi to Malindi where she took a matatu to Shakahola alongside her sister and niece.

When McKenzie was mot preaching, he would be live on TV teaching people about end times and discouraging medical services and education.

In 2018, the then KFCB boss Dr Ezekiel Mutua ordered the closure of his TV station after McKenzie and his wife were arrested on grounds of encouraging religious radicalisation and unlawfully promoting extreme beliefs.

McKenzie had also, at some point, brushed shoulders with the then Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa who questioned his teachings.

Despite the controversies, he continued running his church until 2019 when he hit the headlines again forcing him to close down his church.

He sold his church, cars and TV station and moved to Shakahola where he bought land in the name of starting a farming venture.

“I have always been on the media for the wrong reasons. The media and individuals always misquote or decide to run with a story out of context. The other time I made a sermon on earthly education being evil and I was taken to court for telling children not to go to school

“This was not the case. It is a prophecy and it depends on how you take it. I can preach but I do not force the teachings on anyone,” McKenzie said in a past interview.

However, as reported on mainstream media, his followers who attended his church in Migingo were referred to Shakahola.

At his new location, MacKenzie and his team of ‘fasting supervisors’ brainwashed his followers into fasting to death to meet Jesus.

While his followers starved in the bushes, McKenzie and his family lived in their home in Migingo where his church was previously located.

The father of seven also has a family home a few meters from Malindi Town.