The Shanzu magistrate court has ordered sixty-four followers of controversial cleric Paul Mackenzie, who had staged a hunger strike, be taken back to a rescue centre within Kilifi County.
However, one of the victims identified as Feminise Mwoma, who blatantly told the court that she will not cooperate with the police, will continue being remanded at Shimo la Tewa Women’s Prison.
The victims, who were being held at Sahajanad rescue centre in Mtwapa Kilifi county, had between June 6 and June 10 declined meals served to them by the state.
The victims had been rescued from the vast Shakahola ranch on diverse dates between May 20 and June 10 in critical condition and with signs of starvation.
They were taken for treatment and thereafter to a rescue centre.
After staging a hunger strike, the state was forced to arraign them before a Shanzu court where they asked for orders to be allowed to detain them in a prison facility, where they will be forced to take meals.
Shanzu Senior Principal Magistrate Joe Omido directed that each of the victims should undergo medical and mental health assessments.
“I also directed that the medical and mental health reports be filed with the court in the next 14 days for further directions,” said Omido.
Earlier, the Kenya National Commission of Human Rights (KNCHR) had filed to be enjoined in the matter to give an advisory on the case.
KNCHR assistant director of legal services Beryl Oraro told the Shanzu Magistrate Court that the state’s apprehension over the possibility of the victims engaging in suicidal behaviour is understandable.
“However, the approach should enhance the well-being of the victims and safeguards their rights, rather than unduly restrict them and risk jeopardising the mental health of the victims,” she said.