Sect of death in Kenya: there are already 179 bodies exhumed

Forensic experts and homicide detectives from the Criminal Investigations Directorate (DCI) classify the exhumed bodies (REUTERS / Stringer) (STRINGER /)

The Kenyan authorities have raised to 179 the number of bodies exhumed on land used by a Christian sect in a wooded area in Shakahola, in the north of the country, an event that has unleashed a wave of criticism and has led to the arrest of the group’s leader, paul mackenziewho could be indicted on terrorism charges.

The Police of the Costa region have located more than thirty new bodies this Friday after a second round of exhumations began in the area on Tuesday, while the number of those rescued in Shakahola now amounts to more than 70 .

Likewise, the commissioner of the regional Police, Rhoda Onyancha, has stressed that the number of missing that could be linked to the activities of the sect has continued to increase and is already touching the 600as reported by the Kenyan newspaper The Nation.

The main leaders of the sect, headed by Mackenzie, urged followers to fast until death under the promise that they will meet Jesus Christ in a new life. Kenyan President William Ruto has described Mackenzie as a “terrible criminal”.

Almost all the dead of the so-called “Shakahola massacre” have been exhumed from graves and mass graves found in that forest, with the exception of a few who died in hospital due to their serious condition.

The autopsies of more than a hundred bodies showed that, although all showed signs of starvation, the corpses of at least three minors and one adult also had signs of strangulation and suffocation.

Paul Mackenzie and his wife Rhoda Mumbua Maweu, speak with their lawyer George Kariuki (REUTERS / Stringer)
Paul Mackenzie and his wife Rhoda Mumbua Maweu, speak with their lawyer George Kariuki (REUTERS / Stringer) (STRINGER /)

Likewise, the first investigations by the Police suggest that the faithful were forced to continue fasting even if they wanted to leave it.

This Wednesday, the Shanzu court, in the coastal city of Mombasa, ordered an extension for 30 days (beginning the count on May 3) the detention of the sect leader who allegedly persuaded the victims to fast together with his wife and 16 other suspects.

On May 2, Nthenge and the other detainees were released by the court in the tourist coastal city of Malindi, after the Prosecutor’s Office expressed its intention to formulate terrorism charges against themsomething for which that court declared itself incompetent.

However, the pastor and his henchmen were arrested minutes later and taken to the Shanzu court, some 120 kilometers away, where the police unsuccessfully requested authorization to detain them for another 90 days.

Last Friday, the President of Kenya appointed a commission of inquiry chaired by Judge Jessie Lesiit to clarify the facts and determine the administrative or security negligence that could have occurred.

Nthenge, in police custody since April 14, leads the Good News International Church (International Church of Good News).

Former taxi driver, the pastor was already arrested last March after being accused of the death of two children in similar circumstances, but he was released on bail.

(With information from EFE and EP)

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They found another 27 corpses in Kenya of members of a cult: the pastor asked them to fast until they met Jesus

After the Shakahola forest massacre, the rise of false churches and shady pastors causes alarm in Kenya