Controversial preacher Paul Mackenzie hailed followers dying from starvation as heroes, the Shanzu court has revealed.
In the court documents tabled before senior principal magistrate Yusuf Shikanda by the lead investigator of the Shakahola massacre Raphael Wanjohi, Mackenzie is said to have conducted burial ceremonies referred to as weddings for those that died while fasting.
He also praised the departed as unsung shujaas (heroes) and implored the rest to keep fasting.
"Mackenzie presided over the burials, which he referred to as harusi (wedding) and the deceased were referred to as shujaas. These facts go to the strengths of evidence against Mackenzie and his accomplices," the documents read n parts.
Wanjohi in the documents further described that some of the survivors have exhibited behavioural changes such as refusing to eat and shaving off their hair.
While noting that the information was gathered from the victims who survived the heart-wrenching incident, Wanjohi also explained to the court that Mackenzie chaired meetings with his 'close cabinet' and asserted rules that gave a hierarchy of how the fasting process was done.
According to the survivors, the embattled preacher stated that children would be the first to fast and when the last child died from starvation, the youth would follow then women and men would fast last. Thereafter, he would be the last to fast after the men and die.
The survivors also noted that the fasting was enforced with thorough beatings from Mackenzie's followers and violent supervision.
"Some of the survivors exhibit behavioural changes, where they have shaved their hair, and are giving scripted versions of the events in the forest. Some have refused to eat food given to them, medication and have refused to sign statements," he added.