The scene in Shakahola Forest where more than 240 people died in a shocking religious cult will be converted into a national museum, Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki has announced.
Speaking when he visited the crime scene in Malindi, Kilifi County, on Tuesday, June 6, 2023, Kindiki said the area will be converted into a national memorial in remembrance of the many lives lost in the 800-acre land once the ongoing exhumation exercise is complete.
"Shakahola forest, the scene of crime where these grave crimes have been committed, can not remain as it was. The Government will convert it into a national memorial, a place of remembrance so that Kenyans and the world do not forget what happened here," Kindiki said.
The government commenced the third phase of exhumation of bodies at the Shakahola forest on Tuesday.
The operation kicked off moments after CS Kindiki met Coast regional security and intelligence teams.
So far, 242 bodies have been exhumed from the expansive Shakahola forest, with 95 rescued alive while starving themselves to death in religious heroism.
"The investigations team continues to gather all the relevant information and details to piece together watertight evidence that will ensure justice for the victims and accountability for the masterminds of the Shakahola massacre that has so far claimed 242 lives," Kindiki said.
"So far, our teams have managed to save 95 people who could have died in the forest. Some are still recuperating in hospitals, and some have been reunited with their families."Kindiki says security roads will be opened in every 100 acres of the Chakama Ranch to aid in methodical and scientific search and rescue efforts as well as identification of graves.
Controversial preacher Paul Mackenzie, who is currently in police custody, is the prime suspect in the deaths.
The leader of Good News International Church is said to have misled his followers to fast to death with a promise of meeting Jesus.