State agencies along the Coast are on heightened alert amid concerns that Paul Makenzi, a controversial preacher, and surviving members of the Shakahola doomsday cult, responsible for claiming the lives of 425 individuals, may be plotting a mass suicide.
The apprehensions stem from Makenzi’s proclamation that August would mark the final opportunity for cult followers to encounter Jesus before the world’s anticipated annihilation.
Multiple survivors of the cult have revealed that Makenzi outlined a grim timeline for mortality within the group. According to their accounts, children were destined to perish by April’s end, women by June’s conclusion, and men by July’s termination.
Makenzi and his wife were purportedly set to meet their demise in August.
Recently, authorities rescued 65 members of the quasi-religious cult who were fasting within the confines of the Shakahola forest, believing it would transport them to heavenly realms.
Makenzi, during a court appearance before Shanzu Senior Principal Magistrate Yusuf Shikanda, disclosed that he had abstained from food since being separated from his co-accused, citing fears of poisoning.
He alleged persecution by the state and lamented his solitary confinement at Shimo La Tewa Prisons, beseeching the court for intervention.
In a parallel development, Prosecutor Alexander Jamii has accused Makenzi of attempting to establish a church within the prison, where he is detained alongside 17 devoted adherents. Jamii argued that Makenzi’s intention was to maintain proximity to his followers, enabling him to continue preaching and prophesying their impending release from custody after ten days.
Jamii characterized Makenzi’s actions as manipulative, asserting that he aimed to transform the prison into a place of worship to propagate his teachings.
In response, Makenzi vehemently refuted these allegations and urged the court to procure CCTV footage that could verify his compliance with the accusations.
The ongoing legal proceedings surrounding Makenzi underscore the complex dynamics surrounding his influence over his followers and the potential for further adverse outcomes.
As state agencies remain watchful, the situation serves as a stark reminder of the susceptibility of individuals to charismatic figures and the dire consequences that can arise from extreme beliefs.