Mackenzie Tells Court: “We are Ready to be Taken to River Yala”

August 8, 2023

Cult leader Paul Mackenzie and his adherents have complained to the court that they are ready to die due to the adversity they are enduring while in prison.

Mackenzie raised concerns with the court regarding the severe circumstances he and his followers have been subjected to. These include being confined to a dimly lit room for a span of two days without access to food or the chance to bathe themselves.

Before Shanzu Senior Principal Magistrate Yusuf Shikanda, Mackenzie said that soliciting help from authorities had proven fruitless, as he believed that these authorities were consistently devising ways to subject him to mistreatment.

“My colleagues and I have made a decision. If you feel tired of me and my colleagues, we are ready to be taken to River Yala. We do not have a problem with that because I will die, and you, the prosecutor, will someday die like me. There is nowhere you can hide,” said Mackenzie.

Noting that he has not started a church inside prison, Mackenzie said that his intention in raising these concerns was not solely to secure his own release, but rather to implore the court to intervene and rescue him from the hardships he was enduring.

“I am being held in a dark room, and my request for at least an hour in the sun has been flatly denied. I feel unheard and ignored, and I am not sure where else or who I can turn to for help. If I go to the prosecution for help, they will reject me because they see me as radicalized,” the controversial preacher said.

Additionally, Mackenzie through his legal counsel Wycliffe Makasembo, raised concerns regarding the infringement of their rights, instances of isolation, and discriminatory treatment by the prison authorities.

“Mackenzie is being served special meals that he fears may be contaminated with intent to harm him. Previously, all of the suspects ate together, but following the court’s visit to the prison, he was isolated and is now being served special meals alone,” said the lawyer.

Mackenzie and his co-accused issued a warning of their intent to stage another hunger strike to protest against mistreatment.

“If these people go on hunger strike again, the prosecution will be held accountable. I pleaded with them to be good people, and they heard me, but it is unfortunate that the prosecution wants to take us back to where we started,” Makasembo said.

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