Pastor Paul Mackenzie with his wife Rhoda Mumbua

Paul Mackenzie, a controversial preacher, and his 94 other suspects in the Shakahola massacre case have requested soap and other personal care items, claiming that their poor sanitation conditions while incarcerated have caused them to suffer from skin illnesses.


According to their counsel, Lawrence Obonyo, the suspects admitted to having skin rashes due to a lack of bath soap.


It seems like the inmates are experiencing a rash epidemic. In order to control the issue, they have requested soap. Mr. Obonyo added, "The government should offer them proper hospitality because they are under the care of the state."


The majority of the skin disease cases are from males, according to the lawyer who told Mombasa Chief Magistrate Alex Ithuku.


Mackenzie also asked the court for permission to see Rhoda Mumbua Maweu when she was being held in Shimo La Tewa jail on identical manslaughter charges.


According to Mr. Obonyo, the couple needs to talk about their kids; therefore, they should have enough time to meet.


"A couple with kids—that's who they are. Mackenzie told me to ask the court to tell jail officials to let him see his wife. Their children are a major topic of discussion," the attorney said.


The lawyer did say that Mackenzie and his wife haven't had enough time to speak about family issues, but he didn't say much more about what Mackenzie wants to say.


In addition, Mackenzie is requesting a transfer from his present cell to another one since he is experiencing mental hardship.


The suspect, according to Mr. Obonyo, wants to leave the current detention facility because he is experiencing mental depression and needs a change of environment.


In order to ensure their children's safety, the court agreed with the lawyer's recommendation and ordered the jail administration to make this possible.


"The jail officials should treat Mackenzie humanely, " Mr. Ithuku said.


The killing of approximately 429 Good News International Church members in the Shakahola forest has resulted in 238 manslaughter charges being filed against Mackenzie and his co-accused.


Along with additional charges that are not yet before the court, the defendants are accused of killing 238 individuals as part of a suicide pact.


Their alleged crimes occurred in the Shakahola region of Kilifi County's Malindi Sub-County between January 2021 and September 2023. The exact dates of these alleged acts are unclear.


On each of the 38 charges of manslaughter, the defendants have entered not guilty pleas.


However, they will remain in custody until the resolution of their manslaughter charges.


This follows the Mombasa Court's denial of their request for supervised release prior to the start of their trial.


The court earlier this month denied the defendants' request for bail due to the seriousness of the charges against them.


The court denied bail to the accused due to their lack of a permanent address. Since they were all taken into custody in Shakahola Forest, it would be difficult to find them if they failed to appear in court.


As a result, they were considered a flight risk.


The court also agreed with the ODPP's assertion that the accused face significant accusations and that there is a risk of witness tampering due to the underage status of the majority of the witnesses.


Prior to the start of the hearing on Thursday, the prosecution asked for more time to gather and organise its evidence.


In May, the court plans to start receiving testimony from the witnesses in the case. The court will bring up the matter on May 13.


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