The Shanzu Court in Mombasa on Tuesday issued a directive stating that Paul Mckenzie, his wife Rhodah Mumbua, and 16 other individuals will remain in custody for seven more days.
The court granted the extension to allow their legal representatives sufficient time to respond to the prosecution’s request for a 60-day extension of their detention period.
The decision aims to ensure that all parties have an adequate opportunity to present their arguments and address the matter appropriately.
The Prosecution and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) have requested the extension of detention to facilitate the completion of ongoing investigations, which they have described as complex.
They have cited the ongoing exhumation of further bodies and the ongoing DNA analysis as reasons necessitating the extension.
As of Tuesday, 251 bodies had been exhumed and 95 people rescued alive while starving themselves to death in religious heroism.
Meanwhile, the leader of the Christian cult who stands accused of directing his followers to starve to death has reportedly gone on a hunger strike.
This is in protest of recent remarks made by Interior CS Kithure Kindiki that Pastor Mackenzie will serve a life sentence for his crimes.
“Makenzie will not get out of jail. He will age in there. We pray that God gives him more years to see Kenya’s security prosper. He will not get out of jail. Makenzi will meet the wrath of God after jail,” Kindiki said on Sunday.
Mackenzie and his wife Rhodah Mumbua began their hunger strike on Wednesday. They protested that the State had already decided their fate and they would not receive justice.
“We want the CJ to assure us of the independence of the courts in the trial of my client. We do not want the Judiciary to be interfered with. I want justice for my client,” Mackenzie’s lawyer, Wycliffe Makasembo, told Principal Magistrate Yusuf Shikanda.
“Our clients (Makenzi and co-accused) have embarked on a hunger strike due to continued violations of their rights and will not eat and will further boycott court appearances until their grievances have been addressed.
“We are seeing a possibility of a miscarriage of justice since the person who spoke is a highly placed individual with immense power,” the advocate argued.