Shakahola Cult Suspects Remanded for an Additional 30 Days. Here’s Why

September 12, 2023

The Shanzu Magistrate Court in Mombasa has ruled that 66 individuals suspected of involvement with the Shakahola cult must remain in detention for an additional 30 days.

This follows a request from the probation office in Mombasa, seeking an extension of time to complete their report.

As per the probation office’s statement, they had successfully conducted interviews with 63 out of the 66 suspects. However, they encountered difficulties as most of the suspects were reluctant to provide family details, causing delays in the completion of the final report.

Wycliff Wathome, who heads the probation office, informed the court that the majority of the suspects were not originally from Mombasa, and one of them was a foreign national.

In his ruling, Yusuf Shikanda commended the court’s wisdom in requesting family reports in the case. Shikanda emphasized that it would be imprudent to deny the probation office additional time to provide the complete report to the court.

“It is unlawful not to disclose to your probation officers where you stay. It is important for them to know your people and where you live so that they can continue and finish with the report,” said the magistrate.

Shikanda urged the suspects to cooperate with the probation officers, emphasizing that the officers were not pursuing them as they might have perceived. Instead, he pointed out that the information they were seeking could potentially be beneficial to the suspects in their case.

“Yes you have the right to speak or not, but this right can be limited. The probation officers are not coming for information that will implicate you,” he said.

In their court submissions, the probation office stated that they had conducted home inquiries for only 20 families and significant others, underscoring the necessity for an extension of time.

The prosecution team, led by Assistant ODPP Jami Yamina, countered allegations of a government plot to prolong the detention of the suspects.

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