Thursday, July 18, 2024

Kenya: Over 600 People Still Missing as Govt Exhume Six More Bodies at Shakahola Forest

Nairobi — Six additional bodies were on Thursday exhumed in the ongoing exhumation exercise in Kilifi’s Shakahola forest bringing the total number of bodies recovered at the mass grave site to 264.

Since the commencement of the operation, the government has made 45 arrests and successfully rescued 95 victims associated with the Shakahola Starvation cult led by controversial televangelist Paul Mackenzie of the Good News International Church.

To aid in the identification of victims’ families, the government has collected a total of 93 DNA samples.

Currently, 19 families have been identified, while the number of individuals reported missing by their relatives stands at 613.

The government further revealed plans to open security roads in every 100 acres of the Chakama Ranch as part of a comprehensive effort to aid in the systematic and scientific search and rescue operations of the victims of the Shakahola starvation cult as well as identification of graves.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki made the announcement during his visit to the Shakahola Forest, where he oversaw the third phase of the exhumation exercise.

Kindiki said that investigation has uncovered evidence suggesting that controversial televangelist Paul Mackenzie may have extended his criminal activities beyond 800 acres.

“We are concentrating on more than 37,000 acres, and that is why in every 100 acres, there will be a security road to facilitate thorough, methodical, and scientific investigation and evidence gatherings gathering,” Kindiki said.

The Interior CS affirmed government’s commitment to rescue all citizens from the expansive Chakama Ranch “dead or alive.”

Commenting on the progress of the rescue exercise, Kindiki indicated that the rescue teams have managed to save 95 people who could have died in the forest.