Court Orders Mackenzie and 38 Others be Served with Witness Statements and Exhibits

April 24, 2024

A Mombasa court has directed that Shakahola massacre prime suspect Pastor Paul Mackenzie and 38 others be served with witness statements in the child cruelty and torture case.

The prosecution must also serve the accused persons, who face multiple counts of children-related offences, with all exhibits it will rely on to prosecute them, ranging from subjecting children to torture, assault, cruelty, and infringing a child’s right to education.

The suspects’ lawyer, Wycliffe Makasembo, once again failed to appear in court for a pre-trial case conference on Tuesday.

RELATED – Pastor Mackenzie’s Lawyer Fails to Attend Court Mention

Trial Principal Magistrate Nelly Chepchirchir proceeded with the matter and directed the Prosecution to serve him through his last known address. Physical appearance in court for the accused persons had been dispensed with.

Mackenzie and his 38 co-accused, who are parents of children victims rescued from the Shakahola forest, are in custody after being denied bond.

Magistrate Chepchirchir directed that they remain in prison until their case is heard and determined, after allowing the prosecution’s application to oppose their release.

“Having considered the nature of offences that the accused persons are charged with and the need to safeguard the best interests of the children who are witnesses in this matter and whom the accused may or have authority over, I find that these are compelling reasons to warrant all the accused persons to be denied bond at this point,” the court ruled.

The court indicated its commitment to expedite the hearing of the case to ensure all parties receive justice.

Mackenzie and his 38 co-accused were charged with 17 counts of offenses under the Children Act 2012, the Prevention of Torture Act 2017, and the Basic Education Act 2013.

These charges include two counts of subjecting a child to torture with an alternative count of assault causing actual bodily harm, nine charges of cruelty to a child, and six counts of infringing a child’s right to education. All 39 accused persons denied all the charges leveled against them.

The matter will come up for mention on May 2, 2024, to confirm the affidavit of service and fix a hearing date.

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