In Shakahola, a quiet area in Kilifi County, a chilling investigation continues as an additional eight bodies were unearthed Thursday from mass graves, pushing the total count to 235. This operation stems from an ongoing probe into Paul Mackenzie, the alleged cult leader of the Good News International Church.
The tireless efforts of forensic teams have brought these horrifying discoveries to light over several weeks, meticulously excavating numerous clandestine burial sites. These graves allegedly contain followers of Mackenzie, whom he is said to have manipulated into self-starvation, promising a celestial meeting with Jesus in the afterlife.
Officials announced Thursday that the forensic teams will temporarily cease their gruesome duties beginning Friday, marking the initiation of postmortem examinations on the 123 bodies extracted during the operation’s second phase. These examinations are scheduled to begin next Wednesday at Malindi Sub-County Hospital.
Among the unfolding chaos and tragedy, a glimmer of hope surfaced as Japhet Dzombo was reunited with his 15-year-old son during an interview. The harrowing narrative continued with Titus Ngonyo sharing his regret about not being able to dissuade his wife from joining Mackenzie’s congregation.
Meanwhile, search and rescue operations remain ongoing, with law enforcement authorities reminding the public that the area remains an active crime scene. Authorities have enforced a 24-hour curfew as investigations persist.
In Thursday’s report, police documented the rescue of four individuals—three women and one man. Of these, one woman’s condition was listed as critical, while the others are reportedly stable. These recent recoveries increase the total number of rescued individuals to 89, while arrests in connection to the case have reached 31. With 613 individuals still reported as missing, the sobering reality of this grim situation is far from over.