Makenzi, followers detained over hunger strike as 15 more bodies retrieved

Shakahola murder suspect Paul Makenzi at Shanzu Law Courts on June 2, 2023. [Omondi Onyango,Standard]

Last week, Makenzi and 16 of his followers started a hunger strike to protest at Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki's remarks that he would ensure the pastor rots in jail.

Makenzi had sought assurance from the Chief Justice that he would get justice from the courts.

On Monday, Senior Principal Prosecution Counsel Jami Yemina told the court the survivors had resorted to a hunger strike at the Sahajanad Rescue Centre, where they were undergoing counselling.

Lawyer Yemina applied to have the suspects held at Shimo La Tewa where they can be fed by the prison's medical officers, who have the mandate to administer forcible feeding pending a mental health assessment report.

The prosecutor said that Section 29 of the Prisons Act allows the state to undertake forcible feeding of persons within the prison and that some victims risked death in the absence of urgent intervention.

"They need to be held in a safe place where they can be forcibly fed without breaching their rights," said Yemina.

In a different court, lawyers George Kariuki, Elisha Komora and Wycliffe Makasembo complained that they had been denied access to their clients.

Komora and Kariuki withdrew their services citing frustrations from taking instructions from their clients.