Makenzi causes drama in court, contests murder charges


Controversial Preacher Paul Makenzi. [Kelvin Karani, Standard]

Controversial pastor Paul Makenzi and 29 co-accused on Thursday sought the reduction of the 191 murder charges facing them.

The accused told Justice Mugure Thande of the High Court in Malindi that the law does not allow more than 12 counts on a single charge sheet.

Their lawyers, James Mouko and Wycliff Makasembo said the prosecution has not named the victims, their ages, and specific crime scenes.

Mr Mouko argued that the charge sheet was defective in several respects as it contradicted the provisions of section 124 of the criminal penal code Cap 75.

"The number of accounts in the charge sheet, 191, is oppressive and violates the rights of the accused. It seeks to delay the cases,” he said.

He claimed that the prosecution plans to delay the case thus violating the principles of fair hearing as contained in Article 50 of the Kenyan Constitution.

Makenzi and his 29 co-accused are accused of allegedly killing 191 children inside the Shakahola Forest on diverse dates between January 2021 and September 2023.

However, the prosecutor, Victor Mule, urged the court to dismiss the application, saying he would provide forensics and DNA evidence to justify the 191 murder charges.

"This is a case that involves the murder of 191 children. It’s not true that we violated the rights of the accused, we are keen to see that the victims receive justice,” he said.

Earlier, the DPP told the court that Makenzi and other suspects jointly murdered the children in a deadly fast that also led to the death of a total of 429 people in Shakahola forest.

Meanwhile, there was drama after Makenzie started to yell at the prison officers calling them devils who had violated his right to interact with other accused persons.

"You are devils, you are devils. You cannot violate my rights inside the prisons and on our way here and do so inside the courts," he told the wardens.

Inside the Kenya Prisons Bus and in the courts, Makenzi was separated from the other 29 co-accused, amid reports that he would incite other inmates to fast.

His lawyer, Makasembo, told the court that his client's rights  were violated after he was denied from interacting with the co-accused.

''What our clients discuss is their business, let the wardens focus on providing security, and file any complaints they have with the DPP and defense," he said.

However, Mule told the court that Makenzi was barred from talking to the co-accused because there was intelligence that he was to order them to fast.

"Early this morning, we have received information that the accused persons are influencing and radicalizing one another. We decided they should not interact for their safety,” he said.