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Death toll in Shakahola starvation cult rises to 90 as Kindiki visits

Mackenzie og image
File image of Paul Mackenzie

The recent massacre carried out by the Shakahola cult has been described as a turning point for Kenya on how to handle security issues caused by religious insurgents. Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki made this statement after seven more bodies, including that of a child, were exhumed, bringing the total number of deaths to 90.

Kindiki stated that the cult’s actions were a misuse of fundamental rights of freedom, with the purported use of the Bible to kill and cause a massacre. He also pointed out that those who urged others to fast and die were hypocritical, as they were eating and drinking while preparing their followers to meet their creator.

The Interior CS assured the public that the State is investigating another suspected cult in Kilifi County that may be using religion to dupe Kenyans. He noted that they have cast the net wider and are getting crucial leads, suggesting that what was being done by Paul Mackenzie’s cult is just the tip of the iceberg.

Police have been searching for graves on the 800 acres belonging to Mackenzie since last week. Mackenzie, the leader of the Good News International Church, was arrested on April 14 following a tip-off that suggested the existence of shallow graves containing the bodies of some of his followers.

He appeared before Malindi Chief Magistrate Elizabeth Usui on April 17 and was not required to plead to any charge. The prosecution sought 30 more days to hold him as they complete their investigations, but the court granted police 14 days.

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