11 more bodies exhumed at Shakahola, death tally rises to 109

11 more bodies exhumed at Shakahola, death tally rises to 109

Authorities, led by Coast Regional Commissioner Rhoda Onyancha, address the media at Shakahola Forest in Kilifi County on April 27, 2023.

Eleven more bodies were on Thursday exhumed at Shakahola Forest in Malindi, Kilifi County, the scene of crime where numerous members of the Good News International Church cult are believed to have been buried after starving themselves to death in order to "meet Jesus."

This brings the total number of corpses recovered from the scene, linked to controversial self-proclaimed pastor Paul Mackenzie, to 109.

As of Wednesday evening, a total of 98 bodies had been dug up at the location.

According to local authorities, no persons were rescued or arrested during the operation which is now in its seventh day.

Just like Wednesday, journalists were still barred from accessing the operation zone by authorities following orders by Interior Cabinet Secretary Prof. Kithure Kindiki who visited the scene on Tuesday.

In a statement on Thursday, the Media Council of Kenya (MCK) noted that denying the media access to report on such a matter of public interest will open the floodgates of misinformation, rumours and confusion.

"It violates the principles of press freedom and the right to information," read the MCK statement in part.

"We note that it is the media that drew attention of the country to the sad happening for several weeks before any GoK intervention. We call for establishment of a media centre and regular press briefings on site to ensure media access &dissemination of accurate information to Kenyans."

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Citizen Digital Citizen TV Kenya Good News International Church Paul Mackenzie Shakahola Forest

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