Kenyan Police Report Increasing Death Toll as Cult Followers Starve Themselves in Attempt to Meet Jesus

As detectives examine a jungle in Kenya where a starvation cult congregated, the number of people who have died from the incident continues to rise. The senior pastor has been taken into jail, but there are still hundreds of others unaccounted for.

KEY POINTS

  • The authorities have been slowly exhuming mass graves, causing the death toll to climb.
  • The bodies were mostly dug up from shallow graves, while a few people were discovered alive and malnourished before they succumbed.
  • The number of persons recovered alive so far has increased to 34 because of the recent rescue efforts.

To Meet Jesus

According to a press release issued by Kenya’s Directorate of Criminal Investigations on April 24, the horrible event is still in the process of unfolding as detectives examine the location where pastor Paul Nthenge Mackenzie headed a congregation known as the Good News International Church. Mackenzie “told his followers to starve themselves in order to “meet Jesus,” according to the statements made by the police on the gathering of the cult group at the 800-acre site in the Shakahola forest near Malindi.

According to the announcement, an investigation into the location was started by police after they received a tip on April 14. Investigators uncovered “shallow mass graves” and established a connection between the cult and an increasing number of fatalities.

On April 25, police officials informed AFP and Reuters that the number of fatalities reached 90, which included young children. The police informed The Nation that the remains “were all badly decomposed” and that it was “thought that they had died weeks” earlier.

Japhet Koome, the Inspector General of the National Police Service, said in the statement that the authorities are examining “whether some of the victims could have been murdered before being buried,” and the investigation is ongoing. He said that the killings were “disturbing and inhuman.” Despite the fact that we do not yet know the entire scope of the disaster, thirty-four persons have been saved.

According to a tweet sent by the organisation on April 24, the Kenya Red Cross is cooperating with the authorities and assisting in tracking reports of persons who are missing from the Good News International Church. At least 212 people have not been located or accounted for, according to the information received by the organisation.

“We don’t know how many more graves, how many more bodies, we are likely to discover,” Interior Minister Kithure Kindiki told AFP. “We don’t know how many more graves. Mackenzie established the Good News International Church in 2003. According to the church’s website, the church’s “mission” is to “nurture the faithful holistically in all matters of Christian spirituality as we prepare for the second coming of Jesus Christ through teaching and evangelism.”

According to The Standard, Mackenzie rose to notoriety after being known as a “controversial televangelist.” His work as a televangelist resulted in his first arrest, which was made “in 2017 on charges of ‘radicalisation’ after urging families not to send their children to school,” as reported by AFP.

According to the authorities, Mackenzie was detained once again on March 23 to the deaths of two youngsters who had starved to death. After being arraigned, he was allowed to leave the courthouse after posting cash bail. On April 14, law enforcement officials retook the religious sect’s leader into custody and continued to hold him. It is not clear what accusations Mackenzie is or will be facing, even though Kenyan authorities have signalled their readiness to pursue charges against her.

According to Reuters, fourteen more members of the cult have been taken to jail. As of April 25, McClatchy News was unable to locate a method to communicate with Mackenzie or a person working on his behalf. According to an article in The Nation published on April 17, Mackenzie made his most recent public statements while he was leaving the Malindi Law Courts.

Mourning and Anguished

“You do not comprehend the gravity of the situation in which you find yourself. According to the translation provided by the source, he told her, “You will soon have to deal with the consequences.”

According to a story from The Nation, relatives of those who were members of the cult have arrived at the area in the hopes of finding their lost loved ones while authorities continue to scour Shakahola woodland for survivors and their remains.

“My husband refused to leave the forest…,” the wife of a cult member who was rescued alive and subsequently jailed said in an interview with The Nation. “My husband was adamant that he would not leave the compound.” I am overjoyed to learn that he is still alive. There are a lot of other members of the family of cult believers that are looking for answers. A man searching for his sister, brother-in-law, and grandchild told The Nation that his family is “grieving and in a state of desperation.”

The conditions of the corpses are really poor. We have no way of knowing whether or whether any of our family were among the victims. We need responses even though we are aware it may take some time. Officials in Kenya have voiced their vehement disapproval of both the incident that occurred and the cult that was involved.

According to a tweet sent by Interior Minister Kindiki on April 23, “The unfolding Shakahola Forest Massacre is the clearest abuse of the constitutionally enshrined human right to freedom of worship,” Malindi is located around 550 kilometres to the southwest of Nairobi and is close to the coast of Kenya.


*Post is as per reports from News Website*


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Godwin Shon Sequeira
Godwin Shon Sequeira
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