Last news

NEWS

Kenya shocked by 'fasting cult' crimes

Already 133 victims, but could be more than 500

11-05-2023 by Freddie del Curatolo

Kenya is increasingly shocked by the case of the now infamous 'fasting cult' of Shakaola, in the coastal hinterland along the road to the Tsavo East National Park, some 70 kilometres from Malindi. 

The founder of this 'extreme' Protestant cult, the preacher Paul Mackenzie Nthenge, is under arrest in the Malindi police station and will have to answer for murder and other offences in connection with the deaths of at least 145 of his followers, but the police believe that as many as 579 people may have accepted his insane call to abstinence from food 'in order to meet Jesus in paradise'. 

The bodies found so far, while the search that had been suspended due to rain resumed in recent days, were buried in mass graves and among them are many children. Autopsies on the bodies of the victims revealed that almost all of them died of malnutrition, but some of them also showed signs of strangulation and asphyxia. According to reports in the national media, which had access to investigators' documents, other victims also had vital organs removed, but Interior Minister Kithure Kindiki denied the report of the Criminal Investigation Directorate, as reported by The Standard newspaper, warning the public about a possible 'politicisation' of the investigation into the 'Shakaola massacre'. 

Kindiki, however, spoke of a real 'criminal organisation', The self-styled pastor, in fact, did not act alone: in the cell with him is also his wife, Rhoda Maweu, with 16 other alleged accomplices. The misdeeds began with the fact that in order to live on the land owned by Mackenzie in Shakaola, the followers left their material goods to the 'International Church of the Good News' in Malindi and bought a portion of forest, where they could pray and practise the fasting imposed by the self-styled pastor. Among Mackenzie's links would also include that with a pastor much more famous and followed than him, Ezekiel Odera, founder of another church in Kilifi, who has created, through one of his television channels, an empire visible even from the road leading from the county capital to Mariakani. A series of buildings with a conference centre and hostels that aims to be an alternative religious pole for a new mass cult linked to Christianity.

Odera is also among the suspects, although he has been released on bail. His bank accounts have been frozen and the investigation is looking into alleged money movements between him and Mackenzie. Apart from the tragedy of dozens and dozens of induced deaths, mass burials and child murders, the alarm concerns the proliferation of cults of unscrupulous businessmen who, through the naïve approach of the local population towards God and religion, plunder innocents to the most extreme solutions. On this, above all, the government is called upon to come up with concrete answers, as well as to solve the mysteries linked to the 'Shakaola massacre'.

The victims of the 'fasting sect' came from all parts of the country, not only from Malindi and its environs, convinced by the youtube sermons of Mackenzie who, after conducting his prayers in a Malindi building, had closed the church in 2019 and moved everything to Shakaola. In his sermons, which had not gone unnoticed by human rights associations and civil society, but had been ignored by institutions, the self-styled pastor was also convincing young people to drop out of school and join his acolytes.

TAGS: cultosettavittimepredicatore

After days of searches in the forest, of national prominence with the intervention of President Ruto, of...

READ THE ARTICLE

The most regrettable cult and death affair ever in Kenya, the so-called 'Shakaola massacre' in the hinterland...

READ THE ARTICLE

The number of bodies buried in the land owned by Malindi 'pastor' Paul Mackenzie, who was arrested...

READ THE ARTICLE

Rain falls almost incessantly on Malindi. It is a blessed rain, long overdue for months for those who...

READ THE ARTICLE

He does not call himself "Father Mackenzie," like the character in the very famous Beatles song "Eleanor...

READ ALL THE ARTICLE

by redazione

by redazione

by redazione

by redazione

by redazione

The government has reinstated the requirement to wear face masks indoors as a containment measure...

READ THE ARTICLE

Another horrific accident shocks Kenya in the holiday season.
At least...

READ THE ARTICLE

A sudden huge fire broke out in the evening at Mombasa Hospital, the...

READ ALL THE ARTICLE

by redazione

There is nothing to be done, for now. The government opposition in Kenya does not want to know...

READ THE ARTICLE

By popular demand from local tourists from Nairobi and the surrounding area who have...

READ ALL THE ARTICLE