The Senate Ad Hoc Committee investigating the Shakahola Massacre has proposed sanctions against former Kilifi County police bosses and senior government officials.
In a report compiled by the committee led by Tana River Senator Danson Mungatana, senior police bosses, including the former County Police Commander Jecinta Wesonga, were faulted for inaction over the massacre, which was uncovered early in the year.
Other officers named in the 175-page report include former Malindi Sub-County Police Commander (SCPC), Senior County Criminal Investigation Officer and Critical Infrastructure Protection Unit bosses.
Also targeted in the report were former Malindi, Langobaya Officers Commanding Station (OCSs) and controversial pastor Paul Mackenzie who was accused of orchestrating the massacre.
Rescue personnel at the vast Shakahola Forest where the search of survivors and excavation of bodies linked to Paul Mackenzie’s cult was carried out on April 27, 2023
“The Committee observed that due to a warning by the county security committee in 2022, Paul Mackenzie changed tact and minimized his radical teachings. He claimed to be a farmer, that he was no longer associated with the church or preaching.
“Evidence availed to the Committee indicates that the Kilifi County Security Committee had prior knowledge of Paul Mackenzie’s activities but failed to act on the information,” the report read in part.
Mungatana’s Committee asked the National Police Service (NPS) to impose the sanctions within 30 days after the Senate adopts the report.
However, the Committee faulted the Ministry of Interior led by CS Kithure Kindiki and NPS for transferring senior police bosses after the massacre was unravelled.
According to the committee, the officers ought to have been investigated rather than transferred to other areas.
Mungatama and his team opined that the senior police bosses would have provided investigative agencies with relevant information regarding Mackenzie and his teachings.
On the other hand, the Committee also proposed that National Government officials who failed to act over Mackenzie’s activities be sanctioned by the Ministry of Interior led by Kithure Kindiki.
“The Committee recommends that the Cabinet Secretary for Interior and National Administration establish a multi–agency and multi-stakeholder de-radicalization and rehabilitation committee to facilitate the reintegration of the survivors to their homes, families and communities within sixty (60) days of the adoption of this report by the Senate.
“The Committee recommends that the National Intelligence Service sets up an observatory to monitor extremist ideology with a view to identifying those with harmful activities within sixty (60) days of the adoption of this report by the Senate,” read the report in part.
Further, the Ad Hoc committee also called on police to expedite investigations on Mackenzie and prosecute him within thirty (30) days after the report is adopted.
Senators are expected to debate the 175-page report in the coming week.
Interior Cabinet Secreatry Kithure Kindiki appearing before a National Assembly committee on October 12, 2023.