The State is concerned that se*ual activity is taking place in the rescue facilities involving 65 victims, who are important witnesses in the case against suspected Shakahola cult leader Paul Mackenzie.
If the victims were kept at the rescue center, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) warned Shanzu Senior Principal Magistrate Joe Omide that the State would be faced with yet another serious crisis of unintended pregnancies and cases of gender-based violence.
“The victims have now fully recovered, they are energetic and they have been reported to have se*ual intercourse. Most of their time is being spent in this, alongside eating and freely socializing inside their hostels,” he said.
Jamii asked the court for permission to have the victims moved from the rescue centers to Shimo La Tewa G.K prison, where they will be housed in separate male and female cells and have easy access to supervision of their daily activities.
The court was informed that two of the survivors have subsequently been diagnosed with mental health issues, and that once their relatives are located, they will be dealt with in accordance with the law.
“We are now seeking for the court to make orders to have all the victims held at the prison to avoid a possible crisis where the State will be forced to deal with even before they are turned into witnesses,” he said.
The 65 victims were rescued from the Shakahola forest in March this year after allegedly being recruited into the cult by suspected cult leader Paul Mackenzie.
At the time of their rescue, they were being forced to fast to hasten their death to meet Jesus.
In May last year, the State had threatened to charge the victims with the offence of attempting to commit suicide after they declined to eat in solidarity with their cult leader Mackenzie.
It has now emerged that the victims have continued to frustrate the State’s efforts to build a water-tight case against Mackenzie by declining to record statements and share crucial evidence with homicide detectives.
This after Jamii told the court that the victims had continued to lie about the number of children they had left with for Shakahola and their whereabouts.
It still remains unclear if the victims are ready to testify against Mackenzie, considering that they have declined to cooperate with homicide detectives and have so far they have declined to sign their written statements which are set to be used against the preacher.
They are being held at the Shanajad rescue centre.