A court refused bail for Kenyan cult leader Paul Mackenzie and prolonged his custody for 30 days, on Wednesday. According to Kenyan authorities, Mackenzie persuaded his followers to starve themselves and their family to death.
On Tuesday, the death toll of people who starved themselves was 133 but presently it stands at 145 while hundreds of people are still missing. Mackenzie’s, leader of Good News International Church, followers were residing in Shakahola forest where remains were found in shallow graves. The authorities have continued their search for dead bodies.
According to Mackenzie’s lawyer George Kariuki, he has been cooperating in the investigation process.
During a hearing in Mombasa related to the case, Magistrate Yusuf Shikanda stated that the bail would not be granted to Mackenzie and 17 others detained in the case because their release might hamper investigations.
Lawyer for Mackenzie and his wife Wycliffe Makasembo claimed that he would appeal against the court’s decision. Makasembo is one of the detainees in the case. He said, “The ruling was not within the law. It violates the constitutional rights of our clients.”
The self-styled pastor, Mackenzie, was apprehended at the beginning of the year after being suspected of killing two children by starvation and suffocation, but was soon released on bail. After police saved 15 people starving themselves to death from the forest where the church was based, Mackenzie surrendered on April 14.