Kindiki returns to Shakahola as search for more bodies intensify

By , K24 Digital
On Fri, 28 Apr, 2023 13:37 | 2 mins read
Kithure Kindiki in Shakahola
Kithure Kindiki in Shakahola on Tuesday. PHOTO/Courtesy

Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki has flown back to Shakahola village in Kilifi, even as the search operation for more bodies intensifies.

Kindiki, who has visited the place for the second time this week, indicated that the government has set up public information, tracing, and support centre.

"The Government has upscaled the search and rescue efforts for persons suspected to be holed up in the thickets in Shakahola, Kilifi County. Returning to Shakahola this afternoon to oversee the ongoing operation," Kindiki stated.

"The multi-agency security team is doing its best to save as many lives as possible. A public information, tracing, and support centre has been established to offer assistance and receive enquiries from members of the public."

At least 103 bodies have been exhumed in Shakahola, with the deaths linked to the influence of controversial preacher Paul Mackenzie.

Mackenzie, the head of the Good News International Church, surrendered to police in March and was charged after two kids died of starvation while in their parents' care.

He was released on a Ksh100,000 cash bail but was later re-arrested on April 15, 2023, after more bodies were found in relation to the same.

He is accused of encouraging his followers to starve to death in order to "meet Jesus".

DPP charges on the Shakahola preacher

Already, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji is seeking to seize property belonging to Mackenzie amid an ongoing probe.

In a statement after visiting Mackenzie’s 800-acre piece in Shakahola, Malindi Kilifi County, Haji who condemned the horror incident that has so far seen over 103 people lose their lives due to starvation, also called for Mackenzie's prosecution and his fellow suspects to the full extent of the law.

“Preliminary investigations indicate that the suspects may have committed serious crimes including but not limited to murder; procuring, counselling and aiding persons to kill themselves; terrorist acts by threatening national security and public safety and radicalization,” he said.

“This is in violation of various statutes such as the Penal Code, the Prevention of Terrorism Act, the International Crimes Act, the Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act, among others.”

“Further, the ODPP has directed investigation officers to identify the assets of the suspects herein for purposes of preservation, confiscation, and forfeiture in accordance with the law.”