Chiloba Shuts Down TV Stations Associated with Shakahola Deaths

Ezra Chiloba, Director-General, Communication Authority of Kenya
Ezra Chiloba, Director-General, Communication Authority of Kenya

The media has done a great job covering the cultic case of Paul Mackenzie, the founder of Good News Media Kenya Ltd. The preacher is currently facing charges of murder, manslaughter, and child neglect. The charges stem from the discovery of dozens of bodies buried in Shakahola forest near the coastal town of Malindi. The bodies are believed to be those of Mackenzie’s followers, who he allegedly starved to death as a way of purifying them while awaiting to meet ‘God.’

The Pastor also passed his message via a TV platform licensed by Kenya’s ICT watchdog the Communications Authority (CA). Named Times TV, the station has been operating for the last couple of years, and at one time, it was suspended by the CA before it was allowed back online.

However, as of today, the CA has suspended the station, alongside World Evangelism TV (New Life Communications Ltd). The CA says that after conducting a thorough evaluation of the programs aired by the two channels from January to April 2023, the regulatory body discovered that they had breached broadcasting standards and license obligations. World Evangelism TV broadcasted unsuitable content on exorcism during the period when children were likely to be watching and also committed 12 other violations. Likewise, Times TV broadcasted inappropriate content on exorcism and disregarded 17 other broadcasting license requirements.

The World Evangelism TV is associated with televangelists Ezekiel Odero, who has since been arrested by authorities.

“The Authority has further directed the broadcast signal distributor, Pan African Network Group (PANG) Limited, to cease carrying the two stations on its platform until further notice,” adds the CA in a statement signed by DG Ezra Chiloba.

The case has shocked many people around the world and raised questions about the role of religion in society. Many people are asking how a man who claimed to be a man of God could have committed such heinous crimes.

Investigations are still ongoing, and it is unclear what the outcome will be. However, the case has already had a significant impact on Kenya, and it is likely to continue to be debated for years to come after more than 100 bodies were found in shallow graves on a property owned by the preachers.