65 Shakahola Rescuees Charged For Refusing To Eat At Rescue Centre

June 13, 2023

65 people rescued from the Shakahola Forest in Kilifi County have been turned into suspects of attempted suicide.

The followers of the cultic Christian preacher, Paul Mackenzie of Good News International Church in Kilifi, were presented before a Shanzu Court on Monday, June 12.

As per the charge sheet prepared by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution, the suspects allegedly attempted to end their lives by deliberately abstaining from meals while being held at Sajahanadi Rescue Centre in Mtwapa.

They allegedly staged a hunger strike between June 6 and 10.

The suspects did not take plea, with the prosecution, represented by Mr. Jami Yamina and Mr. J.V. Owiti, applying for the suspects to be remanded in prison as the Rescue Centre was no longer deemed suitable to hold them.

Sources privy to the investigations told the media that the suspects turned violent while refusing to eat. They reportedly demanded to be set free, the Nation reports.

The prosecution argued that it is within the prison system that the suspects can undergo mental and medical assessments, as well as be compelled to consume meals.

Shanzu Senir Principal Magistrate Hon. Joe Omido will rule on the prosecution’s application on Thursday, 15th June.

Meanwhile, 10 more bodies were exhumed from the Shakahola Forest area on Monday, June 12, raising the death toll to 284.

Out of the 93 DNA samplings conducted thus far, 19 victims have been successfully linked to their families.

Rhoda Onyancha, the Coast Regional Commissioner, said the number of reported missing individuals has reached 613, while the total number of rescues made thus far stands at 95.

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