Paul Mackenzie might have no case to answer! Lawyer Willis Otieno

In Summary

  • President Ruto pronouncements yesterday were mere political statements.
  • The law assumes any decision or action taken was out of voluntary acceptance of the doctrine and faith of the person.
  • A terrorist is defined as a person who uses unlawful violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in pursuit of political aims.

President William Ruto pronouncements about Paul Mackenzie lead cult yesterday were mere political statements according to lawyer Willis Otieno.

“He was being politically correct because there is the prevention of terrorism act which doesn’t account for one Paul Mackenzie”.

Ruto in his speech said, “What we are seeing in Kilifi, in Shakahola is akin to terrorist. There is no difference between Mr. Mackenzie who pretends and postures as a pastor when in-fact he is a terrible criminal. Terrorists use religion to advance their heinous acts. People like Mr. Mackenzie are using religion to do exactly the same thing.”

READ ALSO: Mackenzie is a terrorist who belongs in jail – Ruto

The definition of a terrorist and the penalty.

A terrorist is defined as a person who uses unlawful violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in pursuit of political aims.

Does this define Paul Mackenzie?

READ ALSO: Latest update: The Search for Betty in Shakahola Cult Forest, Malindi

Bodies found at Shakahola forest land linked to Paul Mackenzie – Picture Courtesy

Under the Kenyan terrorist act, a terrorist group is an entity that has as one of its activities and purposes, the committing of, or the facilitation of the commission of a terrorist act.

On a terror offense, the act responds to both aspects if found guilty:

Commission of a terrorist act:

(1) A person who carries out a terrorist act commits an offence and is liable, on conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding thirty years.

(2) Where a person carries out a terrorist act which results in the death of another person, such person is liable, on conviction, to imprisonment for life.

Is Paul Mackenzie Guilty; If so, for what?

Lawyer Willis Otieno who gave his legal view on Paul Mackenzie issue: Picture Courtesy

Willis says, on matters faith as long as one is 18 years and above, he or she is considered an adult. Unfortunately, the law cannot interfere with his or her faith and belief.

READ ALSO: Paul Mackenzie troubles, one way Ticket to Malindi death Forest in Jesus name

“Ni mtu ako na Imani yake, na kama amefika umri wa 18, he is an adult. Utamshikaje na yeye amesema anafuata dini yake? Hata yesu alifast kwa siku 40”

Hakuna kitu unaweza mshatiki nayo ati mfuasi aliamua kufunga na akakufa. Tukifunga Mackenzie basi itabidi tumefunga wakristo wote wakati ameanza kufunga”

Lawyer Willis Otieno on Ghetto Radio Breakfast show ‘Brekko’

The law assumes any decision or action taken was out of voluntary acceptance of the doctrine and faith of the person and does not hold Mackenzie responsible. If the court then finds Mackenzie guilty, then it must find all religious persons guilty and jailed for fasting. In that respect Paul Mackenzie could have no case to answer! He will only be found culpable if there is concrete proof that indeed he forced people to fast. Which eventually caused death.

“The law says, every person has the right to freedom of conscience, religion, thought, belief and opinion. The government can’t penalize you because of your religious beliefs”.

Article 32 section 2 of the Kenyan Constitution

The law implication on minors.

There could be reprieve when it comes to minors.

READ ALSO: Betty’s Ticket to Malindi Cult Infested Shakahola Forest

The law considers minors as not being in a position to make decisions or take actions of faith and belief on their own. Some of the persons who have died while in the fast are children. However, the law will first consider their parents responsibility in safeguarding the child from such.  

It has been recorded that their parents were also present and fasting in Shakahola. Also some of the graves have families in them.

This leaves Paul only responsible for the location which must still be confirmed as his land and facility to be directly implicated.  

About Willis Otieno

He is a principal Partner at Otieno Ogola & Company Advocates in charge of litigation, governance, public law, elections, constitutional and administrative law, and political processes.

Written by:

Ghetto Radio Managing Director, a Leadership Scholar, Social enthusiast, humanity is a core pillar. Musician and music lover. I am Unbwogable!

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