Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna has demanded answers from the police over the existence of the Shakahola cult, which has led to close to 100 deaths confirmed so far.
Speaking on Thursday, April 27, 2023, Sifuna said that the police could have failed in their duty to protect Kenyans by allowing controversial preacher Paul Mackenzie to continue with his activities, despite having arrested him severally.
"The police must explain to Kenyans how the Shakahola massacre happened under their watch. It’s impossible to state that security forces were unaware of what was going on in Shakahola; the pastor had been arrested four times before," Sifuna said.
"Many have speculated that the only way this happened is that there was collusion with the police. Someone who is able to acquire an 800-acre piece of land anywhere in Kenya is not a poor person. He has all the power of money when it comes to obstruction and defeating of justice. These people (police) must have known what was going on."
Sifuna has also called on for the audit of religious outfits and places of worship to get rid of such cults.
"We are not attacking the church, but it's time we get rid of religious conmen. We need to conduct an audit of all places of worship to determine the type of religious doctrine being taught there," he said.
On Wednesday, the police barred the media from accessing the forest where at least 90 bodies have been exhumed since last week, and several others rescued while starving to death.
Kindiki on Shakahola saga
Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki on Wednesday issued curfew orders for the area for a period of 30 days, effectively banning public gatherings, processions or movement either alone or as a group.
"The area is an active security operation zone and no access to it by the public shall be permitted effective today 26th April 2023, except as may be permitted by the operation Commander and/or until these orders are vacated," Kindiki said in a notice.
"Curfew orders have also been declared and gazetted within the said area between 1800 HRS in the evening up to and until 0600 HRS in the morning for a period of 30 days. There shall be no public gatherings, processions or movement either alone or as a group during the period of curfew into and out of Chakama Ranch except as shall be permitted, in writing, by the Kilifi County Police Commander in consultation with the Operation Commander."
The main suspect, Pastor Nthenge, who is 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.