In the aftermath of the shocking discovery of mass graves in Kilifi County, Kenyan President William Ruto has spoken out, calling for the leader of the Shakahola cult, Paul Mackenzie, to be imprisoned. The cult, which has been compared to a terrorist organization, came to the forefront of national attention after the discovery of four bodies and the rescue of ten people on April 14th. The police are now exhuming bodies from Mackenzie’s 800-acre compound, where cult followers were indoctrinated, brainwashed, and convinced to starve themselves to death in the name of fasting.
In a statement, President Ruto condemned Mackenzie’s actions and called for justice, stating that he and others like him should be behind bars. Several other leaders have also expressed outrage over the heinous crime and have called for answers regarding how such crimes could go undetected for so long. Senate Speaker Amazon Kingi demanded that those responsible for the deaths of innocent people be held accountable and questioned how such a massive operation could have escaped the attention of the intelligence system.
Meanwhile, House Speaker Moses Wetang’ula faulted security authorities in Malindi for their role in the mass deaths, insisting that they reveal what they know. As the police continue their investigation, the nation is left grappling with the enormity of the tragedy and the questions it has raised about the state of security, intelligence gathering, and community policing.