By July 11, 2023, at least 350 bodies had been exhumed from the Shakahola forest. The dead are believed to be adherents of Paul Mackenzie’s Good News International Church.
Prof Kindiki, appearing before the Senate ad hoc committee investigating the killings, also defended his decision to speak before the committee on behalf of administration and security officers on the ground at the time of the killings. The officers have since been transferred.
The CS told the committee chaired by Tana River Senator Danson Mungatana that had the DPP and the Judiciary lived up to their responsibilities, the killings would not have happened.
“There was weak attention from the DPP on the serious crimes Mackenzie had committed and charged for. Not even a single appeal was lodged by the DPP,” said Prof Kindiki. “The offences he was charged with were serious. If I was a prosecutor I would have objected. If I was a judge in the case I would have taken judicial notice that this person is not a first offender,” the CS said.
Mackenzie’s current case in court is the fourth one after he was arrested in April for starving two young children to death and burying their bodies in shallow graves in Shakahola forest.
“As a government, we have nothing to hide and if there is anything untoward, we will expose those involved,” the CS said. He went as far as suggesting a review of the powers of the DPP to enter into plea bargaining.
Prof Kindiki criticised the Judiciary for handing Mackenzie lenient bail terms in three different cases some of which bordered on radicalisation, a capital offense.
“At some point there will be a case against some judicial officers to answer. I hope this committee will talk to the Judiciary because we have issues there. If anything, Shakahola killings should have been avoided or mitigated,” said the CS.
However, Mombasa Senator Mohamed Faki told the CS that the courts exist as independent arbiters and that they act on the strength of the evidence adduced before them.