In a horrifying twist to the already ghastly Shakahola massacre, recent court documents reveal that some victims were discovered with vital organs missing. The chilling details suggest a possible illicit human organ trade linked to this heinous crime.
According to Chief Inspector Martin Munene, “Post-mortem examinations on several exhumed bodies confirmed missing organs,” pointing towards a potential organ harvesting operation prior to their burial in mass graves.
The police are building a case against the alleged cult leader, Paul Mackenzie, to unravel his possible involvement in organ harvesting and trafficking. A significant number of Mackenzie’s followers have disappeared under dubious circumstances, increasing suspicions about their possible untimely demise.
“There is suspected collaboration between Mr. Mackenzie and Pastor Ezekiel Odero,” revealed Inspector Munene, alluding to a deeper network of conspiracy.
Investigators are still engaged in the process of identifying the victims via DNA profiling as the completion of post-mortem examinations remains pending.
“Based on our findings, we suspect an extensive, organized network trading in human organs. It is likely that more victims are buried within the vast tract of land spanning over 1,000 acres,” the inspector added.
Meanwhile, the Milimani Court has imposed a freeze on over 20 bank accounts associated with Pastor Ezekiel and his New Life Prayer Centre and Church. The Financial Investigation’s Unit has been granted authority to scrutinize bank and M-Pesa accounts held by the pastor and his church, which are spread across several banks including the Cooperative Bank, NCBA Bank, Equity Bank, KCB Bank, HFC Bank, and Safaricom Kenya Ltd. Notably, some of the accounts are denominated in foreign currencies such as dollars and euros.
The court has also granted permission for police to access bank statements, account signatories, RTGS (Swift) transactions dating from January 1, 2017 to April 30, 2023, and other relevant documents to aid in investigations of potential money laundering.
To ensure compliance, the court has issued an order compelling the managers of the implicated banks and Safaricom to designate authorized persons to record statements and produce electronic evidence as per the requirements of the investigation.
To preserve funds for the ongoing investigation, the court has prohibited any withdrawals from these accounts for the next 30 days.
In a supporting affidavit for the account freeze, it was noted that Pastor Ezekiel’s bank accounts have been receiving substantial cash transactions, suspected to be funds from victims who were deceived into selling their properties and donating the proceeds to Mackenzie. Inspector Munene voiced concern that these funds might be withdrawn if freeze orders are not imposed.
“Such investigations will allow the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to collate evidence regarding the alleged financial flow,” he stated.
Despite this, a team of eight lawyers representing Pastor Ezekiel has pledged to contest the account freeze orders, accusing the DCI of forum shopping. The legal team attempted to bring this matter before Mombasa Presiding Judge Olga Sewe, who was presiding over a separate petition where Pastor Ezekiel sought to prevent the government from freezing his accounts.