The demise toll amongst followers of a Kenyan cult who believed they might go to heaven if they starved themselves has risen to 89, Interior Minister Kithure Kindiki stated on Tuesday, calling for the organization’s chief to spend the rest of his life in prison.
The toll has step by step risen in recent days as authorities have done exhumations of mass graves observed in an 800-acre region of the Shakahola forest in japanese Kenya where the self-proclaimed Good News International Church turned into based.Most of the lifeless have been recovered from shallow graves, at the same time as a small wide variety had been located alive and emaciated however later died.
“Over and above the parent that turned into given the day prior to this at 73, we were able to discover till this hour some other 16 our bodies, bringing the entire to 89,” Kindiki told journalists at the scene.
News videos showed mud huts with palm thatched roofs, scattered among clusters of thorn timber and scrub bushes.
Footage aired on privately-owned Citizen Television confirmed one of those rescued, an emaciated woman, shouting at the rescuers, asking them to kill her alternatively.
Exhumation sites were cordoned off and teams of fellows, some carrying white shielding overalls and mask, could be visible sporting away corpses wrapped in blue and white frame luggage.
Kindiki said three greater humans have been rescued alive, bringing the whole number of survivors located to this point to 34.
“We pray that God will help them to undergo the trauma, to assist them recover and tell the story of how one time a fellow Kenyan, a fellow human, decided to hurt so many human beings, heartlessly, hiding below the Holy Scriptures,” he said.
The dying toll may want to upward thrust further. The Kenyan Red Cross stated greater than two hundred people were suggested as missing to a tracing and counselling table it has installation at a nearby hospital.
The cult’s chief, Paul Mackenzie, became arrested on April 14 following a tip-off and another 14 cult individuals are in custody, consistent with police. Kenyan media have reported that Mackenzie is refusing meals and water.
“We do no longer anticipate that Mr Mackenzie will get out of prison for the rest of his lifestyles,” stated Kindiki, adding that all and sundry who assisted him by means of digging graves or doing away with our bodies ought to additionally face the harshest penalties below the law.
Reuters turned into now not able to attain any legal professional or consultant for Mackenzie.
Kenya’s Office of the Director Of Public Prosecutions stated initial investigations confirmed that the suspects would possibly have committed crimes which include homicide, radicalisation and threatening public safety.
“The authorities admits that this have to not have came about,” stated Kindiki, describing events in the Shakahola wooded area as a turning point within the danger posed by means of religious extremism.
“But the authorities which I represent right here desires to guarantee the nation of Kenya that nothing like this once more will happen (again). It won’t happen.”