Friday, July 19, 2024

Kenya: Govt Extends Dusk-to-Dawn Curfew at Chakama Ranch By a Further 30 Days

Nairobi — The government has extended the dusk-to-dawn curfew at the Chakama Ranch where search and rescue efforts and exhumation exercise of victims of the Shakahola Starvation cult is ongoing by a further 30 day.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki made the announcement Thursday when the phase 2 of the postmortem exercise of 129 bodies recovered from the Shakahola forest commenced.

Kindiki said the curfew extension is meant to allow the search and rescue teams more time to comb the forest noting that the their could be more victims holed up at the expansive Chakama Ranch where the 800-acre- land associated with controversial televangelist Paul Mackenzie sits.

“That area(Chakama Ranch)remains a crime scene, a disturbed area, an active security operation area and out of bounds for every unauthorised persons. Everything including the curfew order have been extended accordingly,” he said.

CS Kindiki stated that the government has an evidence of more graves at Shakahola forest.

The Interior CS further disclosed that the death toll from the Shakahola Forest starvation cult currently stands at 241.

Of these, five of them being skeletons recovered after the suspension of the exhumation exercise last week.

Kindiki said that the search and rescue teams stumbled on the five skeletons on two different days.

“The skeletons are part of the human remains that will be the subject of postmortem examinations,” he said.

The Interior CS further disclosed that one person who had been rescued from Shakahola forest and taken to hospital for stabilization lost their life on Wednesday after the victim completely refused to eat because of the level of indoctrination.

“We tried our best to feed the victim of this horrible crime with a lot of resistance but because they had already been weakened significantly, that combined with their resistance to eat made them to succumb last evening(Wednesday),” he added.

Kindiki stated that so far, the rescue teams have rescued 91 persons and taken DNA samples from 93 cases.

He added that the 19 victims have been reunited with their families since the start of the exercise adding that 34 suspects have been arrested in connection with the Shakahola deaths to date.

Kindiki explained that last week’s suspension of the exhumation exercise is meant to enable postmortem examinations on 129 bodies and free the space at the Malindi morgue because of its smaller capacity.