34 bodies of Shakahola cult victims to be released to families next week

34 bodies of Shakahola cult victims to be released to families next week

Body bags are seen arranged as forensic experts and homicide detectives exhume bodies of suspected members of a Christian cult named Good News International Church, who believed they would go to heaven if they starved themselves to death, in Shakahola forest of Kilifi County, Kenya, April 22, 2023. REUTERS/Stringe

The families of the 34 individuals whose bodies were recovered and identified from the Shakahola mass grave site will start receiving their remains from March 26, 2024.

Addressing journalists from the Malindi Sub-County Hospital on Wednesday, Government Pathologist Dr. Johansen Oduor revealed that the State will provide counselling services to the affected families before handing over the bodies to them.

Dr. Oduor similarly advised persons seeking to collect the bodies to ensure they possess a letter from their local chiefs, adding that individuals who provided blood samples for DNA testing must be present during the body collection process.

These measures, Dr. Oduor said, are crucial for ensuring that the bodies are released to the correct families without any complications.

The pathologist, on the other hand, stated that the government will dispose of the unidentified and unclaimed bodies in compliance with the law, further stating that the State will proceed with the exhumation of bodies from the 35 identified graves in Shakahola.

On his part Franscis Wanje, a member of a family that lost eight individuals in the Shakahola incident, with five people identified, expressed gratitude to the government for ensuring that they can lay their loved ones to rest.

Wanje lamented that it has been a tormenting year, but he and his kin will finally receive the closure they deserve. 


Citizen Digital Johansen Oduor Cult Shakahola massacre

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