Shakahola massacre has claimed lives of 117 children, Johansen Oduor says

Chief Government Pathologist Dr Johnasen Oduor. [File, Standard]

Chief government pathologist Dr Johansen Oduor has revealed that 117 children are among the victims of Shakahola doomsday cult, in Kilifi County.

Speaking at the Malindi Sub County morgue after the completion of the third phase of autopsies, Oduor said most of the children victims died of strangulation, smothering and starvation.

''So far, we have performed 338 postmortems and of these 201 are adults and 117 are children while 20 we couldn't ascertain the age because of the level of decomposition'' said Oduor.

Oduor further said of the victims,131 were male while 185 were female and 22 couldn't be determined gender because of the level of decomposition.

Most of the children's bodies were retrieved from cult leader Paul Makenzi's homestead. Makenzi allegedly told his followers that burying children in his home was for him to identify with Jesus' command to "Let the little children come unto me.

Oduor has also said the fourth phase of recovering bodies from shallow graves at Shakahola forest will start on Wednesday, July 5, 2023, after the completion of the autopsy of 96 bodies exhumed in the third phase.

''The team has taken a one-week break to prepare for the fourth phase, expected to begin next week'' said Oduor