Paul Makenzi, 95 others to be charged over Shakahola Deaths

Paul Makenzi, together with 95 accomplices are set to be charged in connection with Shakahola Tragedy Deaths.

Renson Ingonga, the Director of Public Prosecutions gave the green light to 10 charges against individuals connected to the Shakahola cult massacre. The charges include murder and terrorism, in a national tragedy that resulted in over 430 lives being lost.

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) had previously presented a case file, which the DPP’s office examined. The DPP’s office went on to discover enough evidence to pursue charges against cult leader Paul Mackenzie and 95 other individuals connected to the massacre.

The ODPP detailed the numerous accusations made against Makenzi and his accomplices in a news release. He stated in a press statement that was made public on Tuesday, January 16, “Upon thorough analysis of the evidence and reviewing of all inquiry files, the ODPP is satisfied that there is sufficient evidence to prosecute all 95 suspects with the charges. The ODPP pledges to expeditiously prosecute the matters in view of the great public interest involved.”

The accused will face charges for engaging in organized crime, radicalization, aiding in the commission of a terrorist act, and possessing an item linked to an offense under the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2012 as well as the Prevention of Organised Crime Act 2010 2010. The accused will face charges for torturing, abusing, and violating a child’s right to education per the Children’s Act, the Prevention of Torture Act, and the Basic Education Act of 2013.

The suspects will be presented before the High Court and Subordinate Court with immediate effect, as per the DPP’s directive. This highlighted the gravity of these proceedings. The ODPP portrayed great commitment to prosecuting the cases as quickly as possible. This is through taking into account the significant public interest involved.

Interestingly, on December 1, 2023, Makenzi was given a year and a half sentence. He was convicted of unlawfully disseminating unrated videos during his radical sermons. Additionally, he was sentenced to six months for running a movie studio without a permit.

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