Pst. Ezekiel issues fierce verdict after attempts to deregister his church


• He maintains he had no prior information as to the decision of the Registrar to cancel the Registration of the church.

Pastor Ezekiel
Image: The-Star

According to Pastor Ezekiel Odero, the Registrar of Societies began the process of deregistering the New Life Prayer Centre and Church without giving him the chance to defend himself or the church.

Odero is seeking for the ruling to be overturned because it restricts his congregation's right to practice their religion in documents submitted to the Milimani Law Courts.

He claims he was not given any prior notice of the Registrar's intention to revoke the church's registration and that he was not given the chance to provide a defense to stop the deregistration.

“It is increasingly disheartening of the numerous attempts by state organs to persecute me, frustrate my ministry and eventually not only shut down the New Life Prayer Centre & Church but also all my other projects,” says Odero.

Pastor Ezekiel is requesting a stay of the registrar's order to cancel the registration of the New Life Prayer Centre as stated in a gazette notice published on August 18 of this year through attorney Danstan Omari.

He has designated the Attorney General and the Registrar of Societies as respondents in the complaint.

According to court documents, the Registrar's notice in the gazette stated that the cancellation took effect on May 19, 2023, despite the fact that Odero was served with a letter dated April 27, 2023, on May 25, this year, requesting that he provide justification within 21 days as to why his church's registration should not be revoked for failing to file its annual returns.

The Notice to Show Cause was issued on me 8 days after the proper 21-day notice had passed, according to Odero, and is "an obvious scheme to frustrate the operations of the church."

In order to make sure the church files its yearly returns, the Pastor continues, they asked the Registrar to make the church's file available on April 11 of this year.

"Kindly inform your client to file their Annual Returns for the years 2012 to 2022 to enable us to process your request," the Registrar said in response to Odero's legal team two days later.

The pastor claims that despite repeated requests for the church's file to be provided by the registrar so that it may submit its annual returns, the registrar has refused to do so.

“The Registrar intentionally and maliciously conspired to make unavailable the church’s file in a bid to frustrate my efforts to remain in compliance with the Societies Act by filing its Annual Returns on time.” Says Odero

He continues by stating that on May 10 of this year, Lady Justice Olga Sewe, sitting in the High Court of Mombasa, issued an order directing the Registrar and state to refrain from interfering with the Church's religious activities.

“It is with utmost concern that the Registrar herein seems to be working round the clock to defeat the purpose of the order issued by the Mombasa High Court on 10th May 2023, embarrassing the authority of the Honorable Court in a bid to fulfill its own malicious and hidden agenda,” says the Pastor.

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