• Lawyer Wycliff Makasembo told the court the continued detention on his clients by the state is tantamount to abuse of their rights.
• Mackenzie and his associates are accused of the deaths of 429 persons whose bodies have been exhumed from Shakahola.
Cult leader Paul Mackenzie and 28 other co-accused persons have asked the state to charge them with "whatever offences".
Mackenzie's lawyer Wycliff Makasembo on Monday told the court the continued detention on his clients by the state is tantamount to abuse of their rights.
On September 15, the DPP applied to continue holding Mackenzie and his co-accused for a further 180 days (six months).
However, the application took at least 60 days to be heard, following back and forth requests from both prosecution and defence for additional days to respond and counter-respond.
As of Monday (November 20), Mackenzie had spent 219 days in police and prison custody since his arrest on April 15.
All his associates have spent more than 150 days in custody, apart from his wife Rhodah Mumbua, who is out on Sh400,000 bond terms.
Mackenzie and his associates are accused of the deaths of 429 persons whose bodies have been exhumed from Shakahola.
They are facing multiple charges including terrorism, murder, aiding suicide, abduction, radicalisation, genocide, crimes against humanity, child cruelty, fraud and money laundering.
They have not been officially charged.
On Monday, Makasembo while opposing the application for continued detention for yet another 180 days, said the applications is hinged on rumours and fictitious fears, therefore should not be allowed by the court.
He said no material had been filed before the Shanzu magistrate court, classified as urgent, to warrant continued detention.
"A quick reading of the application shows that the investigators are at loss. They do not know the specific roles played by each of the accused persons. They do not have any evidence against Mackenzie and his co-accused," Makasembo argued.
He said the investigation officers ought to tell the court what they have achieved so far in the more than six months they have detained Mackenzie.
"This application is 100 per cent replica of the all other previous applications that have been argued before, and the court made its decision. The only verdict that should be given by this court, is advise the DPP to charge them with whatever offences," Makasembo said.
He argued that the Senate Committee that was formed to investigate Shakahola deaths, had recommended the suspects to be charged within 30 days.
"Why is the DPP asking for 180 days? This court should protect Mackenzie and the rest from State abuses," Makasembo said.
Assistant DPP Jami Yamina told the court they have strong evidence against the accused persons, but they will require time to prescribe appropriate charges.
"We have considered rules of drafting the charges, considered limited resources we have, and judicial time for the effective handling of the case. It is not prudent to charge them with certain offences, and later change the charges," Yamina said.
He said they have also identified matters that will be taken to the High Court.
"In instances where there was evidence of strangulation, murder charges will be prescribed, but victims need to be identified first," he said.
He added the investigations are now in the final stages and have narrowed down to DNA testing.
"At this point, we have narrowed down to the DNA for identification of bodies. Therefore, the process needs time," he said.
According to Yamina, out of the 184 bodies of children exhumed from Shakahola, 131 children are directly linked to all the suspects in prison custody.
"Some of the children have been identified to belong to the accused persons. They have not filed any responses to deny that fact," Yamina said.
He said out of the 29 social inquiry reports carried out by the probation office, there was recommendation for only six suspects who could be released on bond or bail terms.
"However, the DPP ask the court to consider that even the six are members of Good News International Church of Mackenzie and the recommendations do not lessen their roles and involvement in the case," Yamina said.
The DPP also argued that the suspects might commit mass suicides if released on bond.
"Circumstances have made it apparent, they are all suicide risk. These respondents there is evidence they will take out their lives if given any form of freedom," he said.
Shanzu senior principal magistrate Yusuf Shikanda is expected to deliver a ruling on the application on December 22.