26 More Bodies Found by Police in Kenyan Cult Investigation
Kenyan police announced Sunday that they had discovered the bodies of an additional 26 suspected cult members in the country’s east, increasing the total number of bodies connected to the movement to 47.
An AFP photographer near the coastal town of Malindi observed search workers digging at the scene while wearing white overalls and masks in search of additional dead. White vinyl sheets had already been used to wrap several bodies.
Charles Kamau, chief of criminal investigations in Malindi, eastern Kenya, stated, “Today we exhumed 26 more bodies, bringing the total number of bodies from that place to 47.”
He claimed that in addition to looking for bodies, survivors of the group were still being sought after. Following the discovery of the first bodies last week, police started their operation.
Shakahola, a forest in the vicinity of Malindi, has been divided into an 800-acre (325-hectare) region for the search operation.
The site will be visited by Interior Minister Kithure Kindiki on Tuesday, according to his announcement.
A thorough inquiry into the movement, the Good News International Church, resulted from that. Makenzie Nthenge, the church’s leader, has reportedly instructed followers to starve themselves in order to “meet Jesus,” and police have already detained her.
According to local media, Nthenge handed himself in to authorities and was charged last month after two kids died of starvation while in their parents’ care. Since then, he has been freed on a bail of 700 dollars ($100,000 Kenyan shillings).
According to local media reports, police have detained six more Nthenge supporters.
Members dying from fasting
Hussein Khalid, a member of Haki Africa, the rights organization that alerted the police to the church’s conduct, claimed that one member of the church discovered by police had refused to eat despite being obviously in bodily agony.
When she arrived at the facility, Khalid told AFP, “she absolutely refused to have first aid administered to her and she closed her mouth firmly, basically refusing to be helped, wanting to continue with her fasting until she died.”
He thought that several churchgoers were still hiding in the adjacent forest from the law.
This highlights the severity of the problem and demonstrates that there are still many people in the world who may be dying every second that goes by.
In order to find the believers before they starved themselves to death, he urged the government to send military to assist in the search.
However, Interior Minister Kindiki stated on Twitter that “enough security officers had been deployed and the entire 800-acre forest is sealed off and considered a scene of crime.”
He also referred to the “Shakahola Forest Massacre” as “the clearest abuse of the constitutionally enshrined human right to freedom of worship” in his tweet.
He continued, “While the State continues to respect religious freedom,” those culpable “should face severe punishment.”
He said that all churches, mosques, temples, and synagogues will need to operate under “tighter regulation (including self-regulation) going forward.”