Court orders Paul Mackenzie, 94 Shakahola suspects to be hospitalised after staging hunger strike

By , K24 Digital
On Tue, 20 Feb, 2024 16:06 | 2 mins read
Shakahola prime suspect Paul Mackenzie
Shakahola prime suspect Paul Mackenzie (c). PHOTO/@ODPP_KE/X

The court has ordered the controversial preacher and Shakahola massacre prime suspect Paul Mackenzie to be hospitalised alongside 94 others for staging a hunger strike.

In a statement, the Office of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) said medical practitioners would examine the suspects on their nutrition and health condition.

The orders were issued on Tuesday, February 20, 2024, by Chief Magistrate Alex Ithuku, who was informed that the suspects had been on a hunger strike for several days.

"Mombasa Law courts Chief Magistrate Alex Ithuku has today ordered that Shakahola key suspect Paul Mackenzie and 94 others be taken to hospital after staging a fresh hunger strike. Hon. Ithuku’s directive comes after an application by the prosecution seeking to have the accused persons examined by medical practitioners on their nutrition and health condition," ODPP stated.

ODPP's plea on Mackenzie

According to the ODPP, there is a need for urgent intervention measures to rescue the accused persons, who are reported to have been on a hunger strike for several days.

Principal Prosecution Counsel, Alex Gituma and Prosecution Counsels Victor Simbi and Yassir Mohamed argued that sections 13 and 15 of Persons Deprived of Liberty Act provide for the right to nutrition, diet and health care by a medical practitioner or nutritionist.

In the same application, the prosecution notified the court that they are opposed to releasing 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.

ODPP told the court that the suspects are glaring at severe sentences if found guilty of the offences, thus releasing them would likely see them abscond court.

"The prosecution further notes that Mackenzie and his co-accused are likely to interfere with key witnesses including children, whom they have immense control and influence over," ODPP added.

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