Kilifi-based pastor, Ezekiel Odero, on Monday, August 21 suffered a blow after High Court declined to suspend the Registrar of Societies directive that deregistered his church.
Pastor Ezekiel had moved to court to block the directive from being implemented, claiming that he was not given any opportunity to defend himself and his church (New Life Prayer Centre and Church) against the allegations.
Although Justice Jairus Ngaah certified the matter as urgent, he refused Pastor Ezekiel’s stay orders.
“In short, as much as the court would have been disposed to grant the order for stay [suspension], the prayer for the order is grounded on a non-existent premise. For this reason, the prayer of stay is refused,” Justice Ngaah ruled.
In his petition, Pastor Ezekiel has named the registrar and the Attorney General (AG) as respondents.
Consequently, the judge ordered Pastor Ezekiel to serve his papers on the matter, after which the registrar and the AG will have seven days to file and serve their responses.
The case will be mentioned on September 5 this year for directions.
The pastor argues that the decision to deregister his church is limiting his congregants’ freedom of worship, as enshrined in the Constitution.
“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,” Pastor Ezekiel laments.