The body count linked to the apocalyptic “doomsday” cult led by Pastor Paul Mackenzie has climbed to over 200, as law enforcement officials discovered several more corpses.
Kenyan officials have stated that the majority of the exhumed bodies showed evidence of extreme malnutrition, as Mackenzie is believed to have commanded his followers to die from starvation in order to ascend to meet Jesus.
It has been reported recently that children were targeted to die first and were starved to death in the hot sun, in the final days of the Christian doomsday cult.
The cult was based in coastal Kenya, primarily on Mackenzie’s extensive 800-acre land in Kilifi County. The authorities have uncovered numerous mass graves on the property, while hundreds more followers remain unaccounted for.
Mackenzie was detained last month and is likely to face terrorism-related charges.
Despite Mackenzie’s denial of any wrongdoing and his claim that he dissolved his church in 2019, relocating to his Shakahola forest property for agricultural activities, postmortem examinations on over 100 bodies have determined that the victims died due to starvation, suffocation, strangulation, and blunt force trauma. Some local news agencies have reported that several bodies were missing internal organs. Mackenzie, along with his wife and 16 other suspects, will soon face charges.
Rhoda Onyancha, the Coast regional commissioner, has noted that 26 individuals have been detained, and 610 people have been reported missing by their loved ones. The exact number of survivors rescued from Mackenzie’s property is yet to be determined, but some were found in such a weak state that they couldn’t walk.
This alarming case has sparked concerns about other religious sects operating in Kenya. As a result, the police have been interrogating other spiritual leaders whose doctrines are misleading or abusive and violate human rights. Kenyan President William Ruto has established a commission of inquiry to examine the significant number of deaths under the pastor’s supervision and recommend actions against institutions that failed to intervene against the cult leader.
Mackenzie has faced legal difficulties in the past and is currently dealing with charges related to several child deaths in his church in an ongoing legal proceeding. Local residents alerted the authorities when Mackenzie’s followers began to settle in the area.
The terrifying magnitude of the event that has come to be known as the “Shakahola Massacre,” has left the government grappling to understand how, in a nation that considers itself one of the most advanced and stable in Africa, authorities failed to be aware of the gruesome activities occurring on a large piece of land situated between two well-known tourist attractions, Tsavo National Park and the Indian Ocean coast.