Editor's Review

Pastor Paul Mackenzie and the 94 co-accused were on Tuesday presented before a Mombasa court. 

The High Court has ordered Shakahola Massacre key suspect Paul Mackenzie and 94 others to be taken to hospital after staging a hunger strike while in custody.

In a statement on Tuesday, February 20, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) the Mombasa Law Courts Chief Magistrate Alex Ithuku issued the directive after the prosecution filed an application to have the suspects examined by a medical practitioner on their nutrition and health condition.

“The prosecution in their application indicated that there was need for an urgent intervention measure to rescue the accused persons, who are reported to have been on a hunger strike for several days,” read the statement in part.

Ithuku also directed a social inquiry report on the current condition of the accused to be filed in court to guide it on further direction.

The prosecution led by Alex Gituma, Victor Simbi, and Yassir Mohamed in their application argued that sections 13 and 15 of the Persons Deprived of Liberty Act provide for the right to nutrition, diet, and health care by a medical practitioner or nutritionist.

File image of pastor Paul Mackenzie. 

In the same application, the prosecution notified the court that they are opposed to the release of the accused persons on bond since they are flight risks having abandoned their homes for Shakahola forest and the state would be at pain to locate them, if released.

Further, the prosecution pointed out that Mackenzie and his co-accused are likely to interfere with key witnesses including children, whom they have immense control and influence over.

On January 16, DPP Renson Ingonga directed the prosecution of Mackenzie and 94 other accomplices over the Shakahola massacre. The DPP noted that there is sufficient evidence implicating the Shakahola massacre suspects.

Pastor Mackenzie was arrested in April 2023 after telling his followers to fast to death to meet Jesus.

This led to the deaths of over 429 people whose bodies were discovered in shallow graves in Shakahola Forest, Kilifi County.