Kilifi pastor, accomplices detained for 14 days over cult deaths

Paul Mackenzie

Paul Mackenzie of Good News International Church when he was questioned by police on April 14, 2023.

Photo credit: Alex Kalama | Nation Media Group

A Malindi court has cancelled the Sh10,000 police bond issued to Pastor Paul Mackenzie of Good News International Church. 

Mackenzie was arraigned following the deaths of two children believed to have been starved by their parents.

Mackenzie, who is now listed as the first of 14 respondents, is accused of giving skewed radical religious teachings in Kilifi’s Shakahola village.

According to the charge sheet, the 14 suspects are further accused of manslaughter, conspiracy to murder, suicide pacts, aiding suicide, abduction and assault.

"One of the suspects asked the court to release him so that he can go back to Shakahola to continue with his fast. This confirms that the activities are still taking place at the said area and unless the suspects, especially Mackenzie, remains in custody, there is likelihood of interference with witnesses and more unlawful activity may take place," said Malindi Chief Magistrate Elizabeth Usui.

She further directed that Mackenzie be detained until police conclude investigations.

"The investigating officer has on oath stated and I have looked at the affidavit which further reports and touches on the issues being investigated met by police, and found compelling reasons to allow police to continue holding suspects for more days upon completion of investigations," the magistrate said.

Apart from the controversial pastor, others listed as suspects in the case are  Robert Kahindi Katana, Alfred Asena, Sanga Stephen Muye, Gedion Mbithi Kioko, Joseph Kenga Mbogoli, and Stephen Ominde Lwangu.

They will be held under police custody for 14 days pending completion of investigations. The investigating officer had asked for 30days but the court granted only 14days.

As for Collins Kabae, Felix Wandera, David Ambaya, Mercy Auko, Jane Nyaboke, Paul Karisa and Allan Robiko, they are to remain in police custody for seven days.

“The government pathologist and officers from DCI Malindi will supervise the exhumation exercise, and the sub-county police commander and area OCS will provide security. Exhumed bodies will be examined, and DNA and toxicological samples taken,” the DPP added.

The case will be mentioned on May 2.