Controversial Pastor Paul Nthenge Mackenzie, his wife and 16 others will spend 23 more days in custody.
Mackenzie who was arraigned in Shanzu Law Courts with 17 others will spend more nights in custody following orders from Senior Principal Magistrate Yusuf Abdalla Shikanda.
“The police are hereby allowed to hold the respondents in detention for a period not exceeding thirty (30) days from 3/5/2023,” the court ordered.
The thirty days include the ones he already spent in custody since his re-arrest.
Mackenzie and the 17 others shall be detained at different police station as had been proposed by the prosecution side.
The application from the prosecution side wanted the respondents to be detained at Malindi police station, Marereni police station, Watamu police station, Mtwapa police station, and Bamburi police station for a cumulative period of ninety (90) days as may be determined appropriate by the investigators.
The court also ordered the respondents be accorded medical examination, treatment and healthcare whenever the need arises.
Meanwhile, Mackenzie’s lawyer Wycliffe Makasembo differed the ruling to have Mackenzie and the other accused be detained for 30 days as he wanted his clients freed on bail.
“If the respondents are linked to extreme religious ideologies and given the number of retrieved bodies and rescued victims together with the number of missing persons believed to have been adherents of the religious outfit, I would agree that releasing the respondents at this stage will jeopardise the investigations,” said Senior Principal Magistrate Shikanda.
He also noted that some of the rescued victims who are potential witnesses may be suffering from Stockholm syndrome and that it would be unsafe to release the respondents before the potential witnesses are restored to normalcy.
“There is no indication that the state is working in bad faith. I find that there are exceptional circumstances that warrant the detention of the respondents. In my view, the State has demonstrated that the continued detention of the respondents without charge is the least restrictive action it can take in balancing the rights of the respondents; the public interest, order and security; the needs to preserve the integrity of the administration of justice; and the interest of the victims,” said SPM Shikanda.