IN SHORT: Popular Kenyan preacher Ezekiel Odero and his New Life Prayer church are frequent victims of impersonation online. This Facebook page offering prayers in return for money is yet another example of this.
The Facebook page New life prayer center and church mavueni claims to offer prayers to Facebook users. When they reach out, the page tells them to send money as an “offering” first.
One of its posts, dated 16 February 2023, reads in part: “Umeteseka kwa magonjwa ya cancer, HIV, diabetes, ulcers, kuumwa na mgongo, pralysis, arthritis, shida ya tumbo, leo hii nina habari njema kwako.”
It adds: “Mungu atakufungua mara moja mwanangu, iwapo una magonjwa yanayokusumbua, nipigie simu/au uniandikie ujumbe mfupi au watsap kwa 0770986436 nikuombee upokee kufunguliwa kwa jina la Yesu Christo.”
This translates from Kiswahili as: “You have suffered from diseases like cancer, HIV, diabetes, ulcers, back pain, paralysis, arthritis, stomach problems. Today I have good news for you.”
“God will heal you immediately, my son. If you are ailing, call, write me a text or contact me on WhatsApp on 0770986436. I will pray for your healing in Jesus’s name.”
But does the page really represent Odero’s New Life Prayer Centre and Church? We checked.
Signs the Facebook page is fake
The YouTube channel lists the church’s phone numbers. The phone number listed in the Facebook posts in question is not among them.
We reached out to the number on WhatsApp and we were told to deposit KSh2,000 first to the number, before prayers could be “given”.
Legit Facebook page
The church’s YouTube channel includes a link to the website newlifeprayercenterandchurch.org.
The fake page was created on 28 December 2022. It has only 40,000 followers.
It is unlikely that the preacher would run two Facebook pages at the same time, with different contact details.
This is just one of the many Facebook pages and accounts Africa Check has exposed impersonating Odero and his church.
To help protect yourself against online fraudsters, see Africa Check’s guide to Facebook scams and how to spot them.
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