DPP Ingonga Slaps Mackenzie & 94 Others With 10 Charges After Court Ultimatum

Mackenzie and His Wife
Paul Mackenzie and his wife when they appeared in court on Wednesday, June 7, 2023.
Kisii Finest

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) on Tuesday, January 16, slapped controversial Pastor Paul Mackenzie and 94 others with 10 charges following an ultimatum by the courts to press charges or set them free. 

In a statement, DPP Renson Mulele Ingonga noted that his office had sufficient evidence to press charges against the 95 who are alleged to have played a major role in the Shakahola indoctrination Massacre in Kilifi County that claimed the lives of more than 300 people.

The charges are related to murder, manslaughter, radicalisation, cruelty, and child torture.

DPP Ingonga categorised the charges into Offences under the Penal Code Cap 63, Offences under the Children Act, of 2001; the Prevention of Torture Act, of 2017 and the Basic Education Act, of 2013 and  Offences under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2012 and the Prevention of Organized Crimes Act, 2010.

Kindiki in Shakahola
Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki during his visit to Shakahola Forest in Kilifi County on Friday, April 28, 2023.
Ministry of Interior

Under offences spelt in the Penal Code Cap 63, Mackenzie and his co-accused were charged with murder, manslaughter and Assault causing bodily harm contrary. 

The controversial evangelist will also stand trial for engaging in organised criminal activity, radicalisation and facilitating the commission of a terrorist. 

"The DPP is satisfied that there is sufficient evidence to prosecute the 95 suspects with being in possession of an article connected with an offence under the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2012 contrary to Section 30 of the Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2012," a statement from ODPP read in part. 

During the Shakahola Massacre probe, it was reported that school-going children had been forced to cut short their studies and engage in forced starvation. 

As such Mackenzie will stand trial for subjecting a child to torture as well as cruelty to a child. 

Additionally, the condemned pastor will be charged with Infringing a child's right to education which is contrary to provisions in the Basic Education Act, 2013.

With the 10 presented charges, DPP Ingonga directed that the suspects be presented before the High Court and Subordinate Courts forthwith.

"The ODPP undertakes to expeditiously prosecute the matters in view of the great public interest involved," members of the public were assured. 

Senior Principal Magistrate Y.A. Shikanda had on January 9, given the State a 14-day ultimatum to charge Mackenzie. 

“In my view, that is sufficient time within which the pending investigations ought to have been completed,” the judge ruled then.

Mackenzie Follower
A group of police officers carrying one of cult leader Paul Mackenzie's followers who collapsed in court on Wednesday, June 14, 2023.
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