Another twenty-six bodies were exhumed this Sunday in eastern Kenyabringing to 47 the number of bodies discovered by police in three days, as part of an investigation into the deaths of cult followers, police told AFP.
“Today [domingo] we exhumed 26 bodies, bringing the total number to 47,” said Charles Kamau, head of criminal investigations for the Malindi (east) subcommittee, noting that searches are continuing.
The bodies were found on land owned by a pastor on the Kenyan coast who was arrested for telling his followers to fast to death.
Malindi sub-county police chief John Kemboi said no more shallow graves have yet been dug on the land belonging to the pastor. Paul Makenziwho was arrested on April 14 for ties to the cult.
Last week, the authorities found the remains of four adherents of the International Church of the Good News (Good News International Church), led by Makenzie, who urged her followers to fast to “know Jesus.”
The total death toll stands at 47, because four other people died after they and others were discovered starving at Good News International Church last week.
Police have asked a court to allow them to hold Makenzi longer while investigations into the deaths of his followers continue.
A complaint led police to raid the pastor’s property in Malindiwhere they found 15 emaciated people, including four who later died. The followers said they were hungry as a result of the pastor’s instructions that they had to do it to meet Jesus.
In the complaint they informed the police that there were dozens of shallow graves scattered around the Makenzi farm. The dig for bodies began Friday.
Makenzi has been on a hunger strike for the past four days. while in police custody.
The pastor has been detained twice before, in 2019 and in March of this year, in connection with the deaths of children. Each time, he was released on bail, and both cases continue in court.
Local politicians have urged the court not to release him this time, denouncing the spread of cults in the Malindi area.
Cults are common in Kenya, which has a largely religious society.
(With information from AFP and AP)
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