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Seven More Bodies Found In Kenya’s Doomsday Cult Mass Graves

KENYAN investigators discovered seven more bodies on Monday as exhumations resumed in Shakahola Forest, where hundreds of victims of a doomsday starvation cult were buried in mass graves. This brings the total number of exhumed bodies to 436, police reported.

The grisly case, which unfolded in a remote wilderness inland from Malindi, a coastal town on the Indian Ocean, has shocked Kenya and the world. Images broadcast on Kenyan television showed seven blue plastic body bags lined up on the ground before being transferred to a vehicle.


‘We exhumed seven bodies today. In one grave, there were four bodies while the other three were buried separately,’ said Dr Johansen Oduor, Chief Government Pathologist, to journalists at the site.

‘We have about 50 graves that have been identified, and we are going to dig them up,’ Dr Oduor added.

Self-proclaimed pastor Paul Nthenge Mackenzie is alleged to have incited his followers to starve to death in order to ‘meet Jesus’ before what he predicted would be the end of the world in August last year. Mackenzie was arrested in April 2023 after the discovery of the first bodies in what has been dubbed the ‘Shakahola forest massacre.’

The former taxi driver turned pastor has pleaded not guilty to 191 counts of murder, manslaughter, and terrorism. He has also been charged with child torture and cruelty.

So far, 34 of the 429 bodies exhumed between April and October last year have been positively identified through DNA profiling. While starvation caused many deaths, some bodies, including those of children, showed signs of asphyxiation, strangulation, or bludgeoning, according to government autopsies.

Last year, Interior Minister Kithure Kindiki accused Kenyan police of laxity in investigating the initial reports of starvation in Shakahola Forest.

‘The Shakahola massacre is the worst breach of security in the history of our country,’ Kindiki told a senate committee hearing, vowing to ‘relentlessly push for legal reforms to tame rogue preachers.’

A devout largely Christian nation, Kenya has struggled to regulate unscrupulous churches and cults that dabble in criminality.

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