The Kenyan Church Cult “Shakahola” that had forced its followers to fast in order to see God, its death toll case has increased to 73.
It was reported by Monday, police officers told AFP as detectives discovered more bodies from the graves in a forest near the coast.
A search is ongoing near the coastal town of Malindi, where dozens of bodies were unearthed over the weekend. The discovery of many bodies has shocked the country, as the President vows to crackdown on “unacceptable” religious movements.
Investigations have been launched into the Good News International Church and its leader, Paul Mackenzie Nthenge, who preached that death by starvation will deliver followers to God.
It is believed that some of Mackenzie’s followers could still be hiding in the bush around Shakahola which was raided by police earlier after a tip-off from a local non-profit group.
After The Raid
Since the raid, a number of people have been rescued and dozens of bodies were revealed in the graves dug in shallow pits.
“We have 73 bodies from the forest by this evening and the exercise will continue,” a police officer told AFP.
“It is a very sad state of affairs on how these people died and were buried in shallow graves because we found six bodies squeezed in one grave,” he said.
According to police chief Japhet Koome, the body toll earlier stood at 58.
The 800acre land has been declared a crime scene as teams of forensics search more burial sites and possible cult survivors.
The President, William Ruto, speaking n Kiambu county, said there was “no difference” between rogue pastors like Mackenzie, who has been arrested and awaiting trial and terrorists.
“Terrorists use religion to advance their heinous acts. People like Mr. Mackenzie are using religion to do exactly the same thing.”
“I have instructed the agencies responsible to take up the matter and get to the root of the cause and to the bottom of the activities of… people who want to use religion to advance weird, unacceptable ideology.
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