April 24 (DW) – Police investigating a Christian suicide cult whose members are believed to have starved themselves to death, exhumed another 26 bodies in Malindi, Kenya, on Sunday. The grim discovery, brings the total number of bodies found so far up to 47.
“In total, 47 people have died at the Shakahola Forest,” detective Charles Kamau told Reuters news agency Sunday.
For similar articles, join our Telegram channel for the latest updates. – click here
The deceased are thought to have been followers of Christian cult leader Paul Makenzie Nthenge, who reportedly told them to starve themselves in order to “meet Jesus.”
Detctive Kamau said the exhumations remained ongoing.
On Saturday police sources had said, “We have not even scratched the surface which gives a clear indication that we are likely to get more bodies by the end of this exercise.”
Kenyan Interior Minister Kithure Kindiki told reporters that 800 acres of coastal Malindi’s Shakahola Forest had been declared a crime scene.
Speaking of the situation he said, “This horrendous blight on our conscience must lead not only to the most severe punishment of the perpetrator(s) of the atrocity on so many innocent souls, but tighter regulation (including self-regulation) of every church, mosque, temple or synagogue [in the country] going forward.”
Nthenge is the leader of the Good News International Church, which police allege “brainwashed” citizens into starving themselves to death.
The cult leader turned himself in to police and was charged last month after two children starved to death while in the custody of their parents, local media reported. He was released on bail of 100,000 Kenyan shillings.
Subscribe to our Telegram channel for the latest updates from around the world