Pastor Mackenzie gets an additional month of detention pending investigations

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Controversial Kilifi-based pastor Paul Mackenzie together with 28 of his disciples has been slapped with an additional 30 days in custody.

This is despite the 29 having already spent five months in custody.

The state had requested for the groups to be detained further to allow for additional time to investigate the Shakahola massacre.

Mackenzie was arrested after he was linked to the death and disappearance of over 400 people whose bodies were found buried in show graves in Shakahola forest in Kilifi county.

It is believed that the Kilifi-based cult leader brainwashed his followers into starving to death.

Last week senior principal Magisterte Yusuf Shikanda directed that some of the preacher’s followers be detained to allow the probation officer to complete his inquiry.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the respondents shall remain in custody. I have listened to both sides, and the probation report is a reason enough to warrant the court to extend the days,”

The Magistrate clarified that the probation officer was not conducting investigations into the Shakahola deaths but he was compiling a report of interviews that would assist in prosecuting the cases.

Mackenzie and his followers are facing a minimum of 12 charges.

The charges include murder, terrorism, assisting individuals in committing suicide, offences against the public, kidnapping, extremism, genocide, cruelty against children, fraud, and money laundering.

since the exhumation of the Shakahola bodies commenced a total of 429 bodies of men women and children have so far been retrieved.

In his initial sermons on fasting, the Messianic cult leader Paul Makenzi focused on the 19 Bible verses related to children and the kingdom of God.

The teachings included a systematic strategy for mass suicide through starvation.

Some of the verses Makenzi preached from, included Matthew 18:3-4, Luke 10:21, and Numbers 14:31.

Since his arrest Mackenzie and his group are yet to be charged.

The story has made headlines not only in Kenya but has also gotten global attention.

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