Shakahola Malindi cult: ‘Pastor Paul Mackenzie used COVID-19 to recruit more members’

April 25, 2023

A woman whose brother is one of the members of the Good News International church spoke t the media revealing more details about the starvation cult.

Roseline Asena told Citizen TV that she first heard about the church led by pastor Paul Mackenzie Nthenge back in 2017. She said she heard about the church through her brother’s wife, who together with her husband lived in Mombasa at the time.

Ms Asena said, “It was through my brother’s wife, who told me how her husband had finally quit alcohol and we were very happy for them because they could now focus on raising their family.”

Speaking on the Sema Na Citizen show on Monday, Ms Asena said she started growing suspicious sometime in 2019 when her brother said their child was not supposed to go to school.

At the time, Asena’s brother and his wife were expecting their second child but they had not gone for prenatal checks because the church was against modern medicine.

“He became a different person I could not recognise because all along we had grown up going to the hospital… I tried to talk it out with him but it would end up in a quarrel,” Asena narrated.

She also revealed that her brother recruited their younger sister, who accepted and joined the church. She even started preaching any chance she got, with sermons warning about the end of the world.

“It was all about Jesus’ coming and how we might not see the next year,” she said.

Asena mentioned that during the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the church used the opportunity to recruit more members.

“They were telling people, ‘Can you see schools are finally closed? This is just the start of the beginning of the end of the world,” she narrated.

Asena said she was able to identify her brother and his wife on TV following their arrest. They were among 14 people who were rescued from the cultist church last week and are expected to face charges of attempted suicide.

Ms Asena however said she did not about the whereabouts of the couple’s five children.

“I am going to Malindi to look for his five children, we do not know. Our hope and prayer are that we find out that they left them out of this and that they are in a safe place.”

Watch a video of Roseline Asena below.


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