CS Kindiki gazettes pastor Mackenzie’s church as an organised criminal group

Wednesday, January 31st, 2024 13:37 | By
CS Kindiki gazettes pastor Mackenzie's church as an organised criminal group
Controversial preacher Paul Mackenzie (l) and his followers during their past appearance in court. PHOTO/@ODPP_KE/X

Interior and National Administration Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki has formally declared controversial preacher Paul Mackenzie's Good News International Ministries as an organized criminal group.

The CS made the declaration through a gazette notice on Wednesday, January 31, 2024.

"In exercise of the powers conferred by section 22 (1) of the Prevention of Organized Crimes Act, the Cabinet Secretary for Interior and National Administration declares Good News International Ministries to be an organized criminal group for the purposes of the Act," the gazette notice reads.

Mackenzie and his 94 followers were recently charged with murder and terror-related charges over their involvement in the starvation cult that killed more than 400 people in Shakahola forest, Kilifi County. The preacher is said to have told his followers to 'fast to death to meet Jesus'.


The suspects were arraigned at Shanzu Law Courts on January 18 after more than eight months in custody, They denied all charges, including engaging in organized criminal activity, radicalization, facilitating the commission of a terrorist act, and being in possession of an article connected with an offence under the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2012.

The prosecution told the court that the accused persons committed the offences on diverse dates between 2020 and 2023.

They are accused of engaging in organized criminal activities at Kwa Mackenzie area of Shakahola Forest, Chakama Location of Magarini Sub-County within Kilifi County, endangering lives and killing 429 members and followers.

The 95 suspects, including pastor Mackenzie's wife Rhoda Maweu, are also accused of "promoting and adopting an extreme belief system for the purpose of facilitating ideologically based violence namely fasting to death by advancing religious change".

The prosecution told the court that the accused persons facilitated the commission of a terrorist act by transporting the members and followers of Good News International Ministries between Shakahola Forest and Malindi Township within Kilifi County, thereby endangering their lives.

"Paul Nthenge Mackenzie and two others, within the same period at Furunzi area in Malindi Sub-County within Kilifi County, were found knowingly in possession of CDs, DVDs, books and pamphlets for use in instigating the commission of a terrorist act, namely endangering the lives of the members and followers of the Good News International Ministries," the court heard.

More on News