By Staff Reporter
Nairobi, Kenya – In a devastating turn of events, Kenya is grappling with a growing death toll linked to a starvation cult that has gained traction in recent weeks.
As the nation reels from the dire consequences of this twisted ideology, authorities are now facing the urgent task of curbing the rising fatalities and dismantling the cult’s influence.
The mysterious cult alleged leader, pastor Paul Mackenzie, is in custody and is accused of telling people to starve themselves to go to heaven.
He has denied any wrongdoing and Kenyan media reported he was refusing food and water.
Mackenzie was arrested on 14 April when the site in Kilifi county was raided after a tip-off. Fourteen other cult members are also being held.
Forensic teams have been scouring an 800-acre site where the Good News International Church was based, with body bags being carried away from the Shakahola forest, in eastern Kenya.
Pictures show mud huts with palm-thatched roofs scattered among the trees and foliage.
Interior minister Kithure Kindiki said another 16 bodies were exhumed on Tuesday, taking the number of dead to 89. According to sources More than 2000 people are reported missing.
Three more people were rescued alive – bringing that total to 34 – but some cult members fled when authorities arrived.
Most of those rescued were unable to walk or talk.
Post-mortem examinations on the bodies are due to start on Thursday.
Kenya’s public prosecutions office said it was looking at possible charges including murder, radicalisation and threatening public safety.