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If you are tired of us, you may take us to River Yala, Mackenzie cries foul over prison mistreatment » Capital News


MOMBASA, Kenya, Aug 7 – Shakahola forest cult leader Paul Mackenzie on Friday lamented before the Shanzu magistrate’s court over the harsh conditions he is being subjected to at the Shimo la Tewa Prison.

Mackenzie and 27 other co-accused persons are being held over the deaths of over 426 people who starved to death at Shakahola forest.

Mackenzie is accused of misleading his followers of Good News International Church “to fast to death to transition to meet Jesus.” (GNI church which was supposedly closed down in 2019),

At Shimo la Tewa Prison, where Mackenzie and his associates have been held for more than 90 days, the wardens decided to separate them to cut off Mackenzie’s influence on them.

Mackenzie was irked by the Prison management’s decision to take him into a solitary cell.

On Friday, while appearing before Shanzu Senior Principal Magistrate Yusuf Shikanda, the cult leader accused the government of planning to ‘kill’ them.

“This is the second day I have not eaten nor taken a shower because I’m being locked in solitary 24/7. When I try to complain, no one listens. If you (the government) are tired of us, then take us to River Yala,” said Mackenzie during the court session.

“We will all die, and you the prosecutor will also die someday, there is nowhere someone can run to escape death. We are asking this court to intervene because the prison bosses are not listening to us.”

His lawyer Wycliff Makasembo told the court that his clients might stage yet another hunger strike in prison if the issues raised are not addressed.

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“If these people go on hunger strike again, the State will be held accountable. The prosecution should be blamed if they take them to where we came from,” said Makasembo.

In June, Mackenzie and his co-accused staged a 10-day hunger strike in prison whereby one of the suspects unfortunately succumbed to hunger pangs.

At least five others had to be rushed to the hospital to be treated after they could not stand and walk and one was paralyzed and is yet to recover since that hunger strike incident.

The State wants Mackenzie and his associate to continue being detained for another 47 days to assist the police to finish their probe. They have already spent more than 90 days in detention.

They are facing at least 12 charges including murder, counselling and aiding suicide, abduction, radicalization, genocide, crimes against humanity, child cruelty, fraud, and money laundering.

However, they are yet to be charged officially.

The matter will be coming back on August 10





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