A Malindi court has convicted Shakahola massacre prime suspect Paul Mackenzie Nthenge for illegally operating a film studio associated with his radical preaching.
Senior Resident Magistrate Hon. Olga Onalo found Mackenzie guilty of conducting exhibition of films to the public through Times Television without approval of the Kenya Film Classification Board.
He was charged with operating a filming studio and producing films without valid filming licence from Kenya Classification Board contrary to section 4 films and stage play act cap 222 laws of Kenya.
Hon. Onalo further found him guilty of being in possession and distributing Films which have not been classified contrary to Section 12 of the Films and Stage Plays Act Cap. 222.
Makenzie committed both offenses jointly with others not before court on 11 January 2019 and 11th April, 2019, at Good News International Church in Malindi Township, Malindi Sub-County, within Kilifi County.
In his ruling, Hon. Onalo stated that the prosecution through Senior Prosecution Counsel Joseph Mwangi, Prosecution Counsel Kennedy Kirui proved the case against Mackenzie beyond any reasonable doubt.
The court ruled that the accused failed to dislodge himself from the evidence of the four prosecution witnesses and exhibits including videos of Mackenzie’s radical preaching.
The court ruled that Mackenzie admitted that Times Television belonged to his church, Good News International, where detectives recovered DVD films containing sermons on end time items in his office.
“Once again in the DVDs watched in court, the court found one titled “Ndoto Obama Coming Edited” and the broadcast started off with the title “watch end time messages everyday” he added too that he knows his end time messages are on you tube and that it is he who uploaded them,” stated Hon. Olga Onalo
“He needed a license which he did not have to do so and that he needed to have the same taken for examination but he failed to do so. I thus find the defence tendered in lieu of the foregoing, not to have dislodged the prosecution case,” she added
However, the trial magistrate acquitted him of the offence of inciting children against attending school and further using the films to incite Christians against Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims on their religion.
The matter has been scheduled for mention on 1 December 2023 with the court granting prosecution leave to file submissions on sentencing.
The court also ordered that a pre-sentence report be filed by the Probation and Aftercare services which should capture the sentiments of the complainant which is the state.