Suspected Shakahola cult leader dies in police custody

Mackenzie Paul

Shakahola cult leader Paul Mackenzie (in pink) is pictured with some of his followers at the Shanzu Law Courts in Mombasa County on May 2, 2023. 

Photo credit: Kevin Odit I Nation Media Group

One of the followers of the suspected Kilifi cult leader Paul Mackenzie has died while two others have been admitted to hospital in critical condition.

The State has told the court that Joseph Juma Buyuka died while receiving treatment at the Malindi hospital.

"We suspect the deceased died from complications associated with a hunger strike. We can only await for post-mortem to ascertain the cause of death," said Senior Prosecution Counsel Jami Yamina.

The prosecutor said that the state is waiting for the report before producing it in court as evidence as the suspects are remanded in custody pursuant to a directive from the court.

Buyuka was among the 30 Mackenzie followers who were relocated to prison after staging a hunger strike while in police custody.

The court heard that the deceased was taken to the Malindi hospital, from Malindi GK prison after his health deteriorated, where he died while undergoing treatment.

Mr Yamina further told Shanzu Senior Principle Magistrate Yussuf Shikanda that two other suspects, Evans Kolombe Sirya and Frederick Karimi, have been admitted to the hospital in critical condition.

They are currently under medication due to complications associated with a hunger strike.

Pastor Paul Mackenzie arrives at Shanzu Law Courts

Pastor Paul Mackenzie arrives at Shanzu Law Courts for the mention of his case on Wednesday, June 21.

Photo credit: Kevin Odit | Nation Media Group

"The two are currently admitted to the medical facility, we shall be filing a report on the status of their health within a week or so," said the prosecutor.

The state has asked the court to dispense with the appearances of the two suspects in court until their health condition is restored.

Mr Karimi and at least five of his accomplices last week appeared in court emaciated prompting the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions to ask the court to remand them at the prison, where a forced feeding was to be enforced.