More than 40 bodies found at Kenya Christian cult graves site

More than 40 bodies found at Kenya Christian cult graves site
# 24 April 2023 10:20 (UTC +04:00)

Kenyan police have exhumed dozens of bodies from shallows graves in the east of the country amid an investigation into followers of a Christian cult who believed they would go to heaven if they starved themselves to death, APA reports citing Aljazeera.

Information provided by officials put the number of bodies exhumed so far as high as 47, according to media reports on Sunday.

“Today we have exhumed 26 more bodies and this brings the total number of bodies from that place to 47,” said the head of criminal investigations in Malindi, eastern Kenya, Charles Kamau.

He said the search was continuing not just for bodies but for survivors of the cult, some of whom are still refusing to eat.

Police launched their operation after the first bodies were discovered last week, and exhumations of bodies began on Friday from a 325-hectare (800-acre) area of forest at Shakahola, near Malindi in Kilifi county.

Kenya’s Interior Minister Kithure Kindiki announced he would be visiting the site on Tuesday and referred to the shocking discovery as the “Shakahola Forest Massacre” in a tweet on Sunday.

Malindi sub-county police chief John Kemboi said that more shallow graves have yet to be dug up on the land belonging to pastor and cult leader Paul Mackenzie, who was arrested on April 14 over links to cultism.

Kenya’s NTV channel has reported that Mackenzie has staged a hunger strike in his cell since his arrest last week.

Police said that 15 rescued worshippers had been told to starve themselves to death so they could meet their creator. Four of them died before they reached hospital.