Kenyan Leaders Blocked From Politicizing Shakahola Cult Deaths

The death toll from the horrific massacre of Shakahola forest have risen to over 220 following the recovery of 15 more bodies.

Police and other rescue workers are undertaking a search and rescue mission in the forest since April 2023 after 610 people were reported missing.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki has vowed undying resolve to enforce the restriction on a Shakahola mass murder site, saying security agencies will only allow parliamentary oversight, reports Bruhan Makong for Capital FM.

While urging politicians to refrain from politicizing the tragic Shakahola Forest Massacre and allow security agencies to conduct thorough investigations into the deaths of scores of followers of the controversial televangelist, Paul Nthenge Mackenzie, Kindiki said the government had nothing to hide.

Kindiki dismissed claims that the state is intending to wage a war against religious institutions, clarifying that the prime focus has been turned to ridding the country of rogues advancing extremism and criminal activities.

Kindiki's comments on security restrictions came days after Opposition leader Raila Odinga was denied entry into the Shakahola forest, with police saying access was restricted due to the ongoing operation.

Odinga, accompanied by some of the local leaders, said he was visiting the area to witness the ongoing operation following the recovery of more than 100 bodies exhumed since April.

The country has been stunned by the discovery of the graves in April near the Indian Ocean coastal town of Malindi, in what has been dubbed the "Shakahola forest massacre".

The self-proclaimed 'pastor', who is due to face terrorism charges for allegedly urging followers to starve to death "to meet Jesus," appeared in the dock in Mombasa. Mackenzie is facing the charges along with 17 other defendants.

Autopsies carried out on over 100 bodies found that while starvation appeared to be the main cause of death, some of the victims - including children - were strangled, beaten, or suffocated.


Exhumation of bodies of victims of cult leader, Paul McKenzie Nthenge, at the Shakhahola massacre scene in Kilifi.

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