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ODPP addresses Pastor Mackenzie's alleged plea deal with prosecutors

ODPP, Judiciary clash over Pastor Mackenzie's alleged deal with prosecutors

Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji speaking during past media briefing

The office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) has contradicted a statement issued by the Judiciary over the past release of Pastor Paul Makenzi.

In a statement of Friday, April 28, the ODPP denied claims made by the Judiciary that a plea agreement was reached in the case, leading to Paul Makenzi's acquittal in 2017.

The office of DDP Noordin Haji said that Mackenzie secured his freedom after being fined in court.

Reference is made to the press statement issued by the Directorate of Public Affairs and Communication of the Judiciary on 27th April 2023. The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions wishes to clarify that the Office did not enter into a Plea Agreement with Paul Thenge Makenzi, and that the accused was placed on his defence and subsequently acquitted pursuant to Section 215 of the Criminal Procedure Code and NOT Section 210, in the Malindi Criminal Case No. 790 of 2017,” the statement read.

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Makenzi, along with two teachers from the Good News International Ministries, was charged in 2017 with offering basic education in an unregistered institution.

According to the ODPP, Makenzi pleaded guilty to the charge and was fined Sh20,000.

"Paul Thenge Makenzi pleaded guilty to the offence of offering Basic Education in an unregistered institution contrary to Section 76 (1)(2) as read with 92 (a) of the Basic Education Act No. 14 of 2013 which attracts a maximum penalty of Sh200,000 or a term of imprisonment not exceeding 12 months, or both. The accused was fined Sh20,000 and paid vide receipt no. 3500206 dated 23rd March, 2017," the ODPP clarified.

The two teachers, Winnie Alexander Gandi and Betty Mwaka, pleaded not guilty and their case was set for hearing.

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In 2018, Gandi and Mwaka changed their plea to guilty following a plea agreement premised on the condition of good behaviour.

They were subsequently sentenced to a conditional discharge under Section 35(1) of the Penal Code.

However, the Judiciary had claimed in a statement on Thursday that Makenzi's case was also resolved through a plea agreement, leading to his acquittal.

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The ODPP has refuted these claims, stating that Makenzi was acquitted after being placed on his defence pursuant to Section 215 of the Criminal Procedure Code and not Section 210.

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