The pastor is facing terrorism charges, prosecutors said in connection with the deaths of over 100 people found buried in what has been dubbed the “Shakahola forest massacre”.
The small courtroom was packed with relatives of victims as Mackenzie, dressed in a pink and black jacket and brown trousers, was brought in by about half a dozen police officers along with eight other defendants.
After a brief hearing, the case was moved to the high court in Kenya’s second-largest city of Mombasa, where the suspects will face terrorism charges, prosecutor Vivian Kambaga told AFP.
“There is a court (in Mombasa) that is gazetted to handle cases under the prevention of terrorism act,” Kambaga told a magistrate during the hearing in Malindi, asking for the case to be moved to the high court.
Ezekiel Odero, a wealthy and high-profile televangelist, is also expected at the high court in Mombasa following his arrest in Malindi on Thursday in connection with the same case.
A total of 109 people have so far been confirmed dead, most of them children.
The first autopsies from Shakahola were carried out Monday on nine children and one woman.
They confirmed starvation as the cause of death, though some victims were asphyxiated, the authorities said.