Court Sets Deadline for DPP to Charge Shakahola Cultist Paul Mackenzie

January 10, 2024

The Public Prosecutor must file charges against Paul Mackenzie, the leader of the Shakahola forest starvation cult, by January 23.

Shanzu Principal Magistrate Yousuf Shikanda issued the deadline on Tuesday, citing the prolonged pre-trial detention of Mackenzie and his associates.

“As already stated in my previous ruling, this is the longest pre-charge detention in the history of the country following the promulgation of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010,” Shikanda mentioned in his ruling.

Observing that the accused persons had been in detention for 117 days since their arrest, the Principal Magistrate directed that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) must bring charges against the accused persons within 14 days.

“If no decision to charge the respondents will have been made after the expiry of such period, the court will consider releasing the respondents from custody on terms that will be determined by the court,” Shikanda said.

Mackenzie, currently serving time for distributing films without a license, is connected to mass graves in Kilifi’s Shakahola forest. Here, he led followers to fast to death, promising them ‘heaven.’

The controversial televangelist is accused of causing the deaths of over 400 followers of his self-proclaimed Good News International Church.

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