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Paul Makenzi jailed for one year for operating studio without valid license

 Pastor Paul Makenzie Nthenge at the Malindi Chief Magistrates Court. [Nehemiah Okwembah, Standard]

Paul Makenzi Nthenge has been jailed for 12 months for the offense of operating a filming studio and producing films without a valid license.

Malindi Senior Resident Magistrate Olga Onalo also slapped him with another six-month jail term for being in possession and exhibiting films to the public through Times TV without an operating license.

“I hereby sentence the accused person to 12 months imprisonment while in respect to count three, the accused person’s explanation of not knowing the need for a license from the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) having obtained a broadcasting one is a reasonable though not entirely acceptable as ignorance of the law,” said Onalo.

The magistrate added that the sentences shall run concurrently with the accused having a right of appeal in 14 days.

The offenses faced by Makenzi attract a jail term not exceeding one year and an alternative fine not exceeding Sh100,000.

The report that was tabled in court emanates from a court order that directed the probation office to compile a report that will guide the sentencing of Makenzi in 2019 court cases involving running a recording studio and TV without being registered by KFCB. 

He was charged with being in possession of and distributing films to the public which had not been examined and classified by the Kenya Film Classification Board.

In her judgment last month, the Senior Magistrate found Makenzi guilty of operating a filming studio and producing films without a valid filming license from KFCB and also with the offense of being in possession and exhibiting films to the public through Times TV which had not been examined and classified by KFCB.

The probation report by the Assistant Director of Probation in Mombasa Nick Makuu, stated that in previous criminal records, Mackenzie was convicted and fined for a similar offense in criminal case no. 182 of 2017.

He was recently acquitted in CR 790/17 for charges related to activities in his church such as radicalization and operating an unregistered education institution for which the ODPP has applied to appeal out of time. 

It stated further that Makenzie was currently in custody as a person of interest in the ongoing investigations into the Shakahola issue in miscellaneous application E077/2023 Before the Shanzu Law Courts and he is being held at the Shimo la Tewa Prisons Remand 

He said that Makenzi was cooperative during the exercise and revealed that he was no longer in the business of preaching having closed his church in 2019 and moved to Shakahola. He denied running an unregistered studio and church and his sentiments were echoed by family members.

On its part, KFCB said that it came to know about the activities of Makenzi in 2019 after being alerted by the Kilifi County Commissioner and other security organs after an outcry from the public.  

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