Self-proclaimed evangelical pastor Paul Nthenge Mackenzie was formally charged this Thursday, January 18, 2024, with four counts, including that of “facilitating the commission of a terrorist act”, in connection with the tragic death of 429 followers of his sect in Kenya.
The charges against Pastor Mackenzie include serious charges, including those related to inciting extreme fasting which allegedly led to the death of hundreds of his followers. The authorities accuse the religious leader of having deliberately encouraged dangerous practices, described as “terrorist” because of their deadly impact.
The pastor, who declared himself “not guilty” during his appearance, maintained his position that his teachings had a spiritual purpose, rejecting any involvement in the tragic events that occurred in Shakahola.
The affair broke out nine months ago, sparking outrage and dismay across the country. The victims’ families are anxiously awaiting justice, while the Kenyan government seeks to ensure such incidents do not happen in the future. Experts in criminal law and religion are being mobilized to testify in this highly publicized trial.