Preacher Paul Mackenzie freed, re-arrested in Malindi

Preacher Paul Mackenzie freed, re-arrested in Malindi

Controversial preacher Paul Mackenzie was released on Tuesday, only to be re-arrested shortly after his arraignment before a Malindi court, along with six others.

The preacher being investigated for the Shakahola Massacre, in which over 109 people are suspected of starving to death, will now appear at the Shanzu court alongside his co-accused.

Judge Ivy Wasike stated that the Malindi court lacks jurisdiction to hear their bail application.

The prosecution told had earlier urged the courts to close the files of Mackenzie and his co-accused in order fo the seven to face terrorism charges at the Shanzu court. 

The seven are likely to face charges under the Terrorism Act for radicalization. 

The body count from the deadly starvation cult as at Thursday evening, the seventh day of the exhumation operation, stood at 109 – with more expected to be discovered as the exercise goes on.

When it comes to controversy and run-ins with the law, the Good News International church preacher is no novice.

The preacher's run-in with the law began in 2017, when he and two others were charged with providing Basic Education in an unregistered institution.

The three later entered into a plea bargain with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP), were discharged by the trial court, and were ordered to be of good behaviour.

Mackenzie was later arraigned on October 17, 2017 on four counts. The charges included radicalisation, and failing to take his children to compulsory primary and secondary school. He pleaded not guilty and was acquitted on October 29, 2021.

On April 11, 2019, Mackenzie was charged with three counts, including incitement to disobedience of the law and being in possession of and distributing films to the public which had not been examined and approved by the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB).

He again pleaded not guilty in this case. The matter is coming up for defence hearing on June 26 this year.

Mackenzie was mentioned in five separate miscellaneous criminal applications. One in 2017 saw him and 20 others held for seven days on grounds that they were to carry out investigations for radicalization of children after they were found with 73 children in a church.

The other four emanated from the ongoing Shakahola investigations, including one in particular that connected Mackenzie to the murder of two children in Shakahola. That application was later dismissed for lack of merit.

The other applications were for the exhumation of remains of 14 unknown bodies, while another application allowed for the exhumation of the 800 acre Shakahola land.

The Good News International Church owned by Mackenzie was also involved in a children protection and care matter in October 2017, as well as a criminal case in March 2019 and a criminal application involving three individuals that was heard on Thursday.


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