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DCI investigates letter instructing Mackenzie’s followers to fast to death

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The Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) is investigating a letter from cult leader Paul Mackenzie instructing his followers to fast unto death while in custody.

The letter, which is dated July 22, 2023, was intercepted recently by authorities at Shimo La Tewa Maximum Prison during a routine prison safety check, the court heard from Assistant DPP Jami Yamina.

According to DCI, the letter provided religious instructions advocating fasting to the point of death.

Chief Inspector Raphael Wanjohi, the lead investigator of the Shakahola massacre, said in an affidavit that the letter revealed extreme religious beliefs consistent with witness accounts and Mackenzie’s recruitment efforts.

“The letter paints a picture that the author and the other co-accused persons are still deeply indoctrinated and ready to accomplish their mission of dying by fasting,” said Wanjohi.

The letter is believed to have been written by Kelvin Sudi Asena alias Alfred Asena, a close associate of Mackenzie. It was authorized by Mackenzie himself, according to police.

Asena frequently sits next to Mackenzie in court and is always seen consulting with him.

Wanjohi said the letter has been submitted to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) for forensic examination to confirm Asena as the author.

This was revealed during the hearing of an application by the State to continue holding Mackenzie and the 27 other co-accused persons for yet another six months.

The probation department also updated the court on the social inquiries. Coast Regional Assistant director of Probation and Aftercare Services, Nick Makuu briefed the court that they have written inquiries on 26 out of 29 suspects.

Makuu added that they expect to conclude writing of their inquiries on the other three suspects.

Mackenzie’s lawyer, Wycliff Makasembo, requested an additional week to respond to the DPP’s request to extend his client’s detention for a further 180 days.

Mackenzie and his co-accused face multiple charges, including terrorism, murder, aiding suicide, abduction, radicalization, genocide, crimes against humanity, child cruelty, fraud, and money laundering.

In the application Assistant DPP Jami Yamina has listed several compelling reasons for detention pending completion of investigations and argues that since the respondents pose a suicide risk detention is the least restrictive measure.

The matter will be mentioned on October 19 to confirm filing of the social inquiries report to pave the way for the court to give further direction on the hearing of the case.

 

 

Haniel Mengistu
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