A high court in Shanzu has declined to rule on cult leader Paul Mackenzie’s request to skip senate summons by the Ad-hoc committee investigating the Shakahola massacre.
In a verdict issued on Thursday, October 19, the court noted that it lacked the jurisdiction to rule on the matter.
“This is not the right forum. It is not for this court to direct the Senate or to speak for the Senate on what they should and should not do.”
“So i decline to give any direction whether it is right or not. I cannot explain what they meant by certain terms they used, that is not my job,” the judge clarified.
Senate ad-hoc committee probing Shakahola deaths holding a plenary meeting in parliament
Parliament of Kenya
On October 12, Mackenzie requested the court to stop the senate committee from summoning him for questioning.
Through his lawyer, Wycliffe Makasembo, Mackenzie argued that he was not prepared to present himself before the committee until his case was heard and determined.
“I want to inform Senator Danson Mungatana that we will not appear before any Senate Committee until we have concluded this criminal case. He should not waste his time,” Mackenzie’s lawyer said while filing a petition to stop Mackenzie’s summoning.
The nine-member Senate Committee chaired by Tana River Senator Danson Mungatana was formed to investigate the proliferation of religious organizations and the circumstances that led to the death of more than 95 people in Skahola, Kilifi county.
Mackenzie was expected to appear before the committee under tight security comprising of prison guards and police manning court premises.
“We have summoned him to appear before us. The committee has expressed the need to speak with him. We are waiting to see if the prison officers will bring him to us or not. We are waiting for him,” Mungatana disclosed.
On Tuesday this week, Paul Mackenzie and Chief Government Pathologist Johansen Oduor snubbed Senate summons.
The committee further ordered the arrest of Oduor after he failed to appear for grilling for a third time in a row.
The ruling against Mackenzie comes a day after the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (ODPP) disclosed why he was yet to be tried.
In a press statement dated October 18, the ODPP revealed that the lengthy process of DNA analysis of the victims necessitated the delay in the prosecution of Mackenzie and his 18 accomplices.
“The ODPP is currently awaiting the results of the DNA analysis undertaken by the Government Chemist Department and the reports to be availed between two to three months,” the ODPP stated.
Earlier this week, an ad hoc committee summoned controversial Pastor Ezekiel Odero of the New Life Prayer Centre to clarify his alleged relationship with Mackenzie.
Odero denied being Mackenzie’s acquaintance, adding that their interaction was limited to a single business transaction where the accused sold his TV station to the New Life pastor.
Pastor Ezekiel of Newlife Prayer Centre drives himself to a police station in Kilifi County