DPP seeks six more months to detain Paul Makenzi over Shakahola deaths

Controversial preacher Paul Makenzi during his previous court appearance at Shanzu Law Courts on August 4, 2023. [Robert Menza, Standard]

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Renson Mulele Ingonga has submitted a new request asking the Court to detain the controversial preacher Paul Makenzi and his 28 colleagues for six more months.

According to the DPP, the period will enable the police to complete the investigation into the Shakahola deaths linked to pastor Makenzi and his Good News International Ministries Church in Kilifi County.

In the request, the DPP has said that government experts need at least 6 months to complete the DNA-coding examination to determine the cause of Shakahola's death as well as the family to identify the remains of their loved ones.

Makenzi has been in custody for over five months, but he is yet to be charged in court.

The suspects are facing at least 12 charges, including murder, terrorism, aiding people to commit suicide, crimes against the public, kidnapping, extremism, genocide, cruelty against children, fraud and money laundering.

Earlier today, the Shanzu Court ordered Makenzi and his colleagues to be detained for another 30 days.

However, his lawyer, Wycliffe Makasembo, told the court that his client has been abused while in custody and is being injected with a certain chemical that makes him "goofy and zombie-like".

Makenzi was first arrested on April 15, 2023, for allegedly telling his followers to starve themselves to death in order to ‘get to heaven faster’.

Since his arrest, more than 429 bodies of men, women, children and babies have been exhumed from the Shakahola Forest mass graves in Kilifi.

The case will be mentioned on October 12, 2023.