Mung'aro wants Shakahola victims bodies removed from Malindi morgue

Kilifi Governor Gideon Mung'aro. [Robert Menza, Standard]

Kilifi Governor Gideon Mung’aro wants the bodies of victims of Shakahola massacre removed from Malindi sub-county hospital mortuary to another facility. 

Mung'aro said the bodies were delaying the implementation of county programmes. 

He disclosed that the county government had plans to relocate Malindi sub-county hospital funeral home to a new site away from the entrance of the facility. 

Speaking during the burial of a prominent Mijikenda traditional song writer and singer Masha Thoya in Malindi town, the governor urged Gender and Culture Cabinet Secretary Aisha Jumwa who was present to talk to Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki to remove the bodies to a national government facility. 

More than 400 bodies exhumed from Shakhola forest after the arrest of controversial preacher Paul Makenzi have been preserved at the county morgue since April 2023. 

“That morgue will be demolished but we are being distracted and held back by the Shakahola bodies and CS Kindiki should come for the bodies so that we get our place back for development," said Mung'aro.

Jacinta Mbeyu from the Malindi Community Human Rights Centre challenged the government to release identified bodies to their kin who have been waiting for about a year after giving their DNA samples. 

“We have families who have camped in Malindi since April last year and DNA samples were taken but the results are not forthcoming. The government should release the bodies to the families so that they can find closure,” she said. 

Mathias Shipeta from Haki Afrika faulted the government for prosecuting the would-be witnesses in the Shakahola tragedy saying that many people who were rescued in Shakahola ought to be witnesses.  

“There are many people we rescued from the 800- acre Makenzi land and we believed they would be witnesses against Makenzi as they are victims after being forced to fast to death. Unfortunately, they have been charged alongside Makenzi and this may deny victims justice since the state might fail to gather evidence to fix the real culprits,” he said. 

Shipeta argued that their continued victimization in prison may harden the victims to Makenzi's advantage.

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