Our son is innocent, Pastor Mackenzie's family breaks silence

Says adherence to his teachings like shunning education was never mandatory.

In Summary
  • His younger brother Robert Mbatha told Citizen TV that the preacher was a role model child, kind and incapable of murder.
  • Robert, himself a former congregant of his brother's church, said practicing his teachings which include shunning modern education was never mandatory.
The controversial pastor Paul Mackenzie in a police Landcruiser from Malindi Police station to the Malindi law courts .
The controversial pastor Paul Mackenzie in a police Landcruiser from Malindi Police station to the Malindi law courts .

The family of Kilifi controversial preacher Paul Mackenzie has defended him against accusations of indoctrinating his followers to fast to their deaths saying he is innocent.

In an interview with Citizen TV aired on Tuesday, his younger brother Robert Mbatha Mackenzie said the preacher is a role model child, kind and incapable of murder.

"Lakini kama mimi kivyangu sikubaliani nao kwa sababu brother yangu namjua. Brother yangu hawezi ua mtu na akazika," he said.

(I don't agree with what they are saying because I know my brother. My brother is incapable of killing and burying someone.)

He said Mackenzie put him through school.

Robert, himself a former congregant of his elder brother's Good News International Church, said practicing his brother's teachings, which included shunning modern education and seeking health solutions, was never mandatory.

"Mackenzie hakubelieve kwa sababu mimi watoto wangu wanasoma na ni ndugu kabisa na yeye huenda hospitali. Sijawahi ona Mackenzie akija hapa amenishikia kiboko ama aniite pale kwake ananiambie nakufunza kila siku lakini hushiki," he said.

(Mackenzie does not believe in those things because my children go to school and he too goes to hospital. I have never seen Mackenzie come here with a cane or summon me to his home asking why I don't follow his teachings.)

Robert said his brother stopped preaching in 2019 and resorted to farming at the Shakahola land, which is now a crime scene. 

This was prompted by what Paul described as a message from God telling him his work was done.

He said the older Mackenzie never studied theology but begun preaching in the late 90s.

The Mackenzie family of 12 children was raised by protestant parents.

The preacher, Robert said, had tried to minister in many churches within Malindi but was unsuccessful owing to many differences with founders.

He was kicked out of three churches before founding his GNI church.

"Haikuwa inaenda na misingi ya bro ama pengine kulingana na mafundisho yao na ya kakangu hayakupatana so pengine ikifika hapo pastor anaona huyu pengine ananiharibia kabisa yangu na anamtoa," he said.

(It wasn't aligning with my brother's ideologies or it was dependent on the differences between their teachings and those of my brother and  pastors would chase him away in the belief he would spoil their ministries)

Mackenzie is in police custody for allegedly indoctrinating his followers to starve themselves to death, in order "to meet Jesus."

As of Tuesday afternoon, 90 bodies had been exhumed by detectives from the 800-acre land.

The number of rescued persons so far is 34.

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