Police started investigations amid studies that cult followers believed they’d go to heaven in the event that they starved to demise.
Kenyan police have exhumed human stays from greater than a dozen suspected graves within the east of the nation amid an investigation into followers of a Christian cult who believed they’d go to heaven in the event that they starved themselves to demise.
Police started exhuming our bodies on Friday, mentioned Charles Kamau, a detective within the city of Malindi close to the Shakahola forest in Kilifi county, the place police rescued 15 members of the Good Information Worldwide Church final week, in accordance with footage broadcast by Citizen TV.
Unnamed police sources instructed the AFP information company on Saturday that 21 our bodies had been discovered up to now and that extra may but be uncovered.
“In whole since yesterday, we’ve 21 our bodies,” a police supply instructed AFP on situation of anonymity, referring to exhumations within the Shakahola forest outdoors the coastal city of Malindi.
“We’ve not even scratched the floor which provides a transparent indication that we’re prone to get extra our bodies by the top of this train,” the supply added. A second police supply confirmed the identical toll, additionally on situation of anonymity, AFP reported.
Kenya’s NTV channel reported on Saturday that seven our bodies had been faraway from two of 32 suspected gravesites marked out by police.
The chief of the church, Paul Mackenzie, additionally recognized in studies as Paul Nthenge Mackenzie, was arrested, the Reuters information company reported. Mackenzie’s lawyer couldn’t instantly be reached for remark. NTV reported that Mckenzie has staged a starvation strike in his cell since his arrest final week.
Controversial Kilifi cult chief Paul Mackenzie has staged a starvation strike inside police cells. https://t.co/MUqHQwsTpU
— NTV Kenya (@ntvkenya) April 22, 2023
Police mentioned the 15 rescued worshippers had been instructed to starve themselves to demise so they might meet their creator. 4 of them died earlier than they reached hospital.
Titus Katana, a former church member, helped police establish the graves.
“We’ve proven the graves to the police, and as well as, we’ve saved the lifetime of a girl who solely had just a few hours left, in any other case she’d even be useless,” Katana instructed Citizen TV.
Matthew Shipeta from Haki Africa, a human rights group, mentioned he had seen not less than 15 shallow graves within the forest.
Helen Mikali, the supervisor of a youngsters’s dwelling who was additionally serving to investigators, mentioned she had visited a number of close by villages the place mother and father and kids had disappeared.
“Personally I’ve visited about 18 youngsters’s graves,” Mikali instructed Citizen TV. She didn’t say how she knew the graves contained the stays of youngsters.
Final month police arrested and later launched Mackenzie for encouraging the mother and father of two boys to starve and suffocate their youngsters to demise.
Throughout a courtroom look in that case, Mackenzie mentioned he was unaware of the occasions that led to the deaths of the 2 boys, including he was the goal of hostile propaganda from a few of his former colleagues, The Normal newspaper reported.
Native media reported that six of Mackenzie’s associates have been additionally arrested.