Deadly cult; Interior CS Kindiki says Shakahola Forest sealed off as crime scene

Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki during a past press briefing. [The Standard]

Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki says the entire Shakahola forest has been sealed off as a crime scene.

This follows the discovery of 58 graves in the farm believed to be of Good News International Church members which is led by Pastor Paul Mackenzie.

In a statement on Sunday, April 23, Kindiki said he had directed the Regional Commissioner for the Coast Region and the Regional Security Team to reinforce the team in Malindi ahead of his visit on Tuesday.

"Enough security officers have been deployed and the entire 800 acre forest is sealed off and declared a scene of crime," said Kindiki.

Additionally, Kindiki outlined the need for places of worship to be regulated.

"While the State remains respectful of religious freedom, this horrendous blight on our conscience must lead not only to the most severe punishment of the perpetrator(s) of the atrocity on so many innocent souls, but tighter regulation (including self-regulation) of every church, mosque, temple or synagogue going forward," said Kindiki.

Mackenzie is said to have directed his followers to fast and die so that they can meet Jesus, which led them to starve to death.

He, however, maintains that the allegations against him are false while insisting that he closed his church in 2019.