47 dead bodies discovered in wake of the cult tragedy in Kenya

Security personnel are still searching both for bodies and survivors. Picture courtesy of Bangkok Post.

Kenyan police announced yesterday that they had discovered an additional 26 dead bodies in eastern Kenya. This new revelation brings the number of deceased individuals linked to the Good News International Church cult up to a staggering 47.

Investigators wearing white coveralls and masks are currently on-site carrying out further excavations in Malindi, searching for more potential remains. Several bodies have already been wrapped in white plastic sheeting in the process.

Charles Kamau, head of criminal investigations in Malindi, eastern Kenya, confirmed the horrifying report. He said…

“Today we have exhumed 26 more bodies and this brings the total number of bodies from that place to 47. The ongoing search and rescue operation is also focused on finding any survivors of this deadly cult.

An extensive area of 800 acres (325 hectares) of forest in Shakahola, near Malindi, has been sealed off by authorities as they continue their diligent search. Interior Minister Kithure Kindiki is expected to visit the site tomorrow, Bangkok Post reported.

The discovery of the cult’s first dead bodies last week prompted a comprehensive investigation into the disturbing activities of the Good News International Church. The leader of the church, Makenzie Nthenge, was apprehended by police after he allegedly encouraged his congregation to starve themselves to “meet Jesus.”

Nthenge later turned himself in to the police and was reportedly charged last month after two children tragically starved to death under the watch of their parents. Since his arrest and subsequent release on bail (100,000 Kenyan shillings, or US$700), another six cult followers have also been detained by law enforcement.

Haki Africa, a prominent rights group, highlighted the extreme effects of the cult’s influence on its members. One woman found in a terrible state of physical distress was unwilling to eat or accept any form of first aid. Hussein Khalid, a member of Haki Africa, explained the severity of her condition to AFP.

“The moment she was brought here, she refused to be administered with first aid and she closed her mouth firmly, basically refusing to be assisted, wanting to continue with her fasting until she dies.”

Khalid believes that additional cult members remain in hiding within the nearby forest, and are in imminent danger of starving to death. He urgently requested that the government deploy troops to assist in the search and rescue mission so that more lives can be saved.

Despite this urgent appeal, Interior Minister Kindiki has announced on Twitter that sufficient security officers have already been deployed to the area. The tweet emphasised that the entire 800-acre forest site had been sealed off and declared a crime scene.

Referring to what he called the “Shakahola Forest Massacre” in his tweet, Kindiki condemned the horrifying event, describing it as “the clearest abuse of the constitutionally enshrined human right to freedom of worship.”

Sebastian Muteti, the head of child protection in Kilifi County, also expressed his shock and sorrow over this tragic case, stating that it is “a big blow and a big shock to our country.”

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With a Bachelor's Degree in English, Jenn has plenty of experience writing and editing on different topics. After spending many years teaching English in Thailand, Jenn has come to love writing about Thai culture and the experience of being an ex-pat in Thailand. During long holidays, she travels to North of Thailand just to have Khao Soi!

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