Nairobi — Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki is now blaming the Judiciary for the loopholes and the devastating effects in the religious Shakahola religious cult that has so far claimed 241 lives.
Appearing before a Senate ad hoc committee investigating the proliferation of churches, Kindiki claimed that loopholes in the criminal justice chain led to controversial preachers Paul Mackenzie to expedite his cultic atrocities.
Kindiki told senators that when Mackenzie was last released on bail which was in March, he moved ahead to fast-track his religious cult mission.
“We attempt to have Mackenzie charged in court not only this administration but also the previous one. Even as we introspect this matter as a country and ask hard question,” he stated.
“We would like the judiciary to look inwards as an organ and ask themselves where they were when this was happening,” said Kindiki.
Investigation done so far show most bodies were buried in March this year which was last he was released on bail.
According to the post-mortem done, the majority of the people who died in Shakhahola succumbed due to starvation while others were either strangled to death or hit with a blunt object.
“Majority of the people died in a period of not more than 26 days before they were exhumed. They were all killed and buried after March. We are staring at a monumental problem,” said Kindiki.
The Interior Boss narrated before the senators how loopholes in the criminal justice system led to the release of the controversial preacher despite several attempts by the Director of Public Prosecution to obtain custodial days to detain him.
Kindiki mentioned that the move by the Judiciary made futile the attempts by security agencies to investigate Mackenzie and ensure he is brought to book.
He has revealed that the moment the prosecution obtained evidence linking Mackenzie to charges linked to international crime, the court moved ahead to release him on bail.
“More than three times Mackenzie has been charged with offences related to radicalization and incitement and every time he is out on a cash bail of Sh 10,000,”
“I have demonstrated how there was a spirited attempt to have custodial orders because by the time we had credible information that his preaching was morphing into commission of international crime,” said Kindiki.
On 14th March 2017, Mackenzie was charged before court for offering basic education in an unregistered institution. He was fined Sh 20,000.
On 17th September, 2017, Mackenzie and his late wife Joice Muikamba charged before Malindi Law Court for radicalization. They were however acquitted.
In 2019, he was again charged before Malindi Law Court with incitement. The case is set heard on 26th June, 2023.
On 20th March, 2023 at Chakama Location two minors: Seth Hinzano and Evabradito Ngala were starved to death and later buried in shallow graves within Mackenzie’s Shakahola farm.
Mackenzie was later arrested and arraigned before court on 22nd March, 2023 on accusations of forced fasting and starvation.
However, Malindi Law Court released him on Sh 10,000 cash bail and denied DCI custodial days.
It was only on April 15th 2023, when Mackenzie was arrested and denied bail after 4 of his followers died while starving to “meet Jesus.”