Malindi cult: Shock as 12 more graves discovered, number rises to 27
Detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) have discovered 12 more graves during their operation to rescue Good News International Church Pastor Paul Mackenzie’s followers in Shakahola forest, Malindi.
The new graves raise the number of graves discovered this far to 27, as the sleuths also rescued three more people, among them a minor.
According to children’ rights officers, a majority of the graves are believed to contain bodies of children - some who were required to be the first to fast as per the requirements of the church.
The total number of those who died due to the prolonged fast is yet to be established as it is suspected that each of the graves may contain more than one body.
The day two rescue operation proved to be a herculean task as some of Pastor Mackenzie’s followers who were still in the forest refused to cooperate with the rescue team.
A 16-year-old girl was among the three people who were rescued and was rushed to the Malindi sub-county hospital for urgent treatment.
Rescuers found that her health status was compromised by the prolonged fast, as detectives believe that children were the worst hit among members of the cult.
Children’s rights officers decried what they termed as failure by the government to act swiftly to stop the activities of the religious group.
The team also visited the nearby homesteads to rescue more members who were keen on using any tactic to escape.
The officers found abandoned homes with a few household items including materials containing religious teachings.
More than 20 graves have been discovered with the exhumation exercise expected to start Friday.
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