Shakahola cult: 65 survivors charged with attempted suicide
Sixty-five survivors of the deadly starvation cult in Shakahola, Kilifi County were arraigned at the Shanzu Law Courts on Monday.
The group were rescued alive in the ongoing probe where Pastor Paul Nthenge Mackenzie of the Good News International Ministries is said to have instructed his followers to starve in order to die and meet Jesus.
Appearing before the Shanzu Law Courts, the 65 were charged with attempted suicide contrary to Section 226 as read with Section 36 of the Penal Code.
The group is accused of absconding meals while at the Sajahanadi Rescue Centre in Mtwapa.
“On the diverse dates between 6th and 10th day of June 2023 at SAJAHANADI Rescue Centre in Mtwapa Township within Kilifi County attempted to kill yourselves by absconding meals,” reads court documents.
The prosecution made an application to have them remanded in prison because the rescue centre can no longer hold them. They are also set to undergo a mental and medical assessment and be forced to eat in prison.
The suspects did not take plea and Shanzu Senior Principal Magistrate Joe Omido will rule on the prosecution's application on June 15.
In the meantime, ten more bodies were on Monday exhumed from the Shakahola forest where a search and rescue operation is in its third phase, bringing the death toll to 284.
As investigations into the massacre continue, the number of suspects arrested in connection with the cult stood at 35 while the number of persons reported missing and suspected to have fallen victim to the cult is 613.
No comments yet.