Shakahola Massacre: Surveyors say Mackenzie land 3716 acres not 800 as more bodies exhumed

Shakahola Massacre: Surveyors say Mackenzie land 3716 acres not 800 as more bodies exhumed

Five more bodies have been exhumed by detectives working on the third stage of the exercise at Shakahola Forest, bringing the total number of exhumations to 247.

The exhumation of 22 more graves discovered last week coincides with a visit to Shakahola forest by Interior CS Kithure Kindiki, PS Raymond Omollo, and DCI boss Mohamed Amin on Tuesday.

"The third phase has commenced. We are satisfied with the team carrying out the exercise," CS Kindiki said. 

"Our multi agency team are doing a great job and observing international protocols," 

During the exercise on Tuesday, a team of surveyors from the Ministry of Land determined that the land owned by controversial preacher Paul Mackenzie is actually 3716 acres, not 800 acres as previously reported.

According to CS Kithure, the crime scene will never be used for human activity again, but will instead be turned into a memorial.

"So that Kenyans would never forget. This place can never be reverted to ranching or any form," CS Kithure added. 

"We shall be calling for a national congregation from every religion to converge here together with the local community, We need to rescue the freedom of worship that has be defiled by crooks and criminals hiding behind religion," 

Meanwhile, army personnel set up camp on the vast tract of land on Tuesday and are expected to begin excavating temporary roads after subdividing the land into 200 and 500 acre tracts to ease movement as the search for more mass graves intensifies.

"A decision has been taken to open security roads. And create compartments so that at every 100 acres we can do our work methodically. We will not leave any of our people either dead or alive," CS Kindiki said during a media briefing. 

Over 242 people, including children, are said to have starved themselves to death in what has been dubbed "the Shakahola massacre."

Detectives investigating the shocking incident believe the faithful were subjected to radical religious teachings before being led into makeshift shelters within the Shakahola forest, where they starved to death.

A total of 93 DNA samples have been collected, and 34 people linked to the incident have been apprehended, including cult leader Paul Mackenzie.

A Mombasa court on Friday directed that Mackenzie and 16 other suspects remain in police custody until Wednesday next week to allow the hearing of an application seeking a further 60-day detention.


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