Controversial preacher Paul Mackenzie has been sentenced to 12 months in prison for running a film studio and creating films without a proper license.
Additionally, Malindi Senior Resident Magistrate Olga Onalo has imposed a six-month jail term for exhibiting the films to the public via Times TV without the necessary operating license.
These sentences will be served simultaneously, but Mackenzie retains the right to appeal within a 14-day period.
The latest development occurred following the recommendation of the Probation Officer overseeing the case, suggesting that Mackenzie should not be offered the option of paying a fine.
“In respect to count two, I hereby sentence the accused person to twelve months imprisonment while in respect to count three, the accused person’s explanation of not knowing the need for a license from the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) having obtained a broadcasting one is a reasonable though not entirely acceptable as ignorance of the law is no defense hence the resulting conviction and in light of the same, I sentence the accused to six months imprisonment,” said Onalo.
Mackenzie faces a potential imprisonment of up to one year or an alternative fine not exceeding Ksh. 100,000 for the committed offenses.
The court received a report, mandated by a court order, from the probation office to assist in determining the sentencing for Mackenzie’s 2019 case involving the operation of a recording and TV studio without a valid license from KFCB.
According to the probation report by Assistant Director of Probation Nick Makuu in Mombasa, Mackenzie had a previous criminal record, having been convicted and fined for a similar offense in criminal case no. 182 of 2017.
Additionally, he was recently acquitted in CR 790/17 for charges related to activities in his church, including radicalization and operating an unregistered education institution. The ODPP has applied to appeal out of time for this recent acquittal.