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HomeBizzare11 more bodies exhumed from Shakahola village, total now 50

11 more bodies exhumed from Shakahola village, total now 50

Eleven more bodies were found in Shakahola village in Kilifi County on Monday, bringing the total number of those exhumed since the exercise began on Friday to 50.

An exhumation is ongoing at the land of cult leader Paul Mackenzie, who is in police custody, as detectives probe the starvation to death of tens of people. Police also suspect that some of the victims did not starve to death and may have been killed and then buried on the property.

Inspector-General of Police Japhet Koome updated the tally after visiting the scene, adding that 29 people had been rescued and taken to hospital. 

IG Koome and Director of Criminal Investigations boss Mohammed Amin arrived at the village in the afternoon to follow up on the exhumations. 

However, the overall death toll from activities around Mackenzie’s cult stood at 58 as of 1pm Monday, as eight of those rescued so far had died under treatment. 

Meanwhile, questions have been raised on possible laxity and negligence by administrators and the local security apparatus.

Kenyans have also expressed outrage at how the government has handled the case, with reports that the team deployed to carry out the exhumations and rescue operation complain over lack of adequate manpower.

On Sunday, Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki directed the Coast Regional Coordinator, together with the regional security team, to reinforce the team in Malindi ahead of his visit on Tuesday.

Prof Kindiki said enough security officers have been deployed and the entire land sealed off as a crime scene.

“The unfolding Shakahola forest massacre is the clearest abuse of the constitutionally enshrined human right to freedom of worship. Prima facie, large-scale crimes under Kenyan law as well as international law have been committed,” the CS said.

“While the State remains respectful of religious freedom, this horrendous blight on our conscience must lead not only to the most severe punishment of the perpetrator(s) of the atrocity on so many innocent souls, but tighter regulation (including self-regulation) of every church, mosque, temple or synagogue going forward.”

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