How did we get here? Questions arise over Malindi cult that has been operating since 2003

How did we get here? Questions arise over Malindi cult that has been operating since 2003

With the number of bodies retrieved from shallow graves at Shakahola area of Kilifi County standing at 21 and counting, more questions than answers surround the events that led to starvation of worshipers in the Good News International Church cult.

Human rights organizations are now casting the spotlight on authorities in Malindi who failed to action intelligence that would intercept the radical teachings of pastor Paul Makenzie Nthenge in good time.

Homicide detectives drawn from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) continue to pitch tent at Shakahola; every trip they make in the 800 acre piece of land results to the exhumation of several bodies from shallow mass graves.

With the number of bodies shooting up by the day, the handful of detectives leading the operation could easily get overwhelmed, as it is the same contingent that is also rescuing emaciated survivors of the Mackenzie doctrine.

Human rights organisations want the government to treat the situation with the seriousness it deserves.

Haki Africa Executive Director Hussein Khalid said: “The officers who are here are doing an excellent job, but we are appealing to the authorities to reinforce this team because this is an 800 acre piece of land…ambapo haya mambo yalikuwa yakifanyika…there others whose lives are in danger.”

Even as a response to this call is pending, the question that begs is just when did this dangerous wave of radicalization attributed to pastor Makenzie start? And just how did it slip the hawk eyed National Intelligence Service (NIS)?

Mayungu Children Rescue Centre is an institution that flagged Mackenzie’s activities back in 2017.

“Hii kesi ya Mackenzie nimekuwa nayo kutoka 2017, naona kama government imelegea, Watoto waliletwa wa kwanza 43, wengine 30 wakapelekwa resue centre…nusu ya hiyo idadi walifariki,” said Hellen Mwikali, the rescue centre’s manager.

The Good News International cult leader is not new to controversies; last month pastor Mackenzie was arrested for causing the deaths of two children who died of starvation.

The pastor was granted a Ksh.10,000 bail by Justice Olga Onalo of Malindi High Court, pending investigations.

He is however yet to face charges since the government pathologist and officers from DCI were yet to exhume the bodies.


DCI Cult pastor Paul Makenzie Good News International

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