Paul Makenzi's lawyer claims he was drugged, mugged and robbed of valuables while at social joint.
Cult leader Paul Makenzi’s lawyer Wycliffe Makasembo says he was drugged, mugged and left almost half blind after he was sprayed with a chemical while at a social joint.
However, he did not disclose the details of where he was and what time it was. When he appeared before the Shanzu law courts, his eyes were teary and he kept using his handkerchief and rubbing his eyes.
Speaking at the Shanzu Law Courts on Monday during the mention of his client’s case, he said he lost his valuables during the incident.
The lawyer told the court that the thieves had been sending out messages begging for Sh8000 from his fellow lawyers and magistrates while posing like it was him in distress and in need of cash.
“I was a victim of mugging and a chemical was sprayed on me. I lost everything. In fact, I’m slowly losing my sight. Even my coordination is not coherent, but all the same, I managed to come to court. Now, your honour, those who mugged me are busy sending messages to judicial officers, my friends and relatives asking for Sh8,000,’’ he told the court.
He, however, did not disclose what transpired during the fateful day, neither did he say the exact place he was mugged.
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Makasembo asked the court to give him two weeks to recover, saying he couldn’t talk and walk properly as his sight was fading.
“I’m so bitter I might even take a plea for murder,” he said. Shanzu Law Courts Senior Principal Magistrate Yufuf Shikanda also confirmed that he received a similar message where he was asked to send money.
Since Mackenzie’s arrest, more than 429 bodies have been exhumed from shallow mass graves in the Shakahola Forest.
DCI homicide officers and forensic investigators are expected to begin the fifth phase of exhumation early next month. The exhumation was suspended to allow time for the embalming of bodies.
Coast Regional Coordinator Rhoda Onyancha said the number of those rescued stands at 95 while 37 have been arrested. “At least 613 people have been reported to be missing by their loved ones in relation to the Shakahola massacre,’’ she said.
Onyancha further said over 256 relatives of the cult victims have undergone DNA testing to help identify their loved ones.
Paul Makenzi of the Good News International Church, which is among the organisations deregistered last month, is alleged to have instructed his congregants to fast to death so that they could meet Jesus.
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Makenzi and 28 of his followers are being held at various prisons within Kilifi County.
Makenzi has spent about five months in custody without being charged, while his colleagues were arrested between May and June 2023.
The Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) had filed an application seeking to detain Makenzi and his 28 followers for six months but Makasembo sought an adjournment to seek treatment and instructions over the extended detention.
“I have explained to my clients what happened to me, and we shall discuss the issue of State seeking for six months’ detention. I shall be praying for an adjournment of two weeks to know what is going on. I can’t talk or walk properly, and my sight is fading,” said Makasembo.
Makasembo said he was feeling too weak to stand or speak, and his sight was fading and could not continue to litigate for his clients.
Mackenzie and his associates are expected to be back in court on October 12 as the State seeks to detain him for six more months to complete investigations.
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