Shakahola Cult death toll rises as exhumation exercise resumes

May 10, 2023

The second phase of the exhumation exercise at Shakahola Forest resumed Tuesday, with authorities managing to dig up 21 more bodies.

This raises the number of bodies so far exhumed to 133, with Interior CS Kithure Kindiki expressing fears that there might be more victims of the starvation cult than initially feared.

CS Kindiki said the exhumation will take longer than expected as he termed the Shakahola cult deaths as a highly organised crime.

Meanwhile, another five members of the Good News International Church were rescued from the vast forest, bringing the total of those rescued as of Tuesday to 68.

Coast Regional Commissioner Rhoda Onyancha said more than 560 people, some of whom are suspected to have been members of the cult, have been reported missing, including from villages around the forest.

The Regional Commissioner also revealed that DNA samples had been collected from 93 families with 14 people being reunited with their relatives.

Interior CS Prof. kithure Kindiki on Tuesday referred to the “Shakahola massacre” as one of the worst tragedies in Kenyan history.

“On behalf of the government I want to assure the people of Kenya that the government will inform the public the whole truth of what has happened to our people here,” the CS said.

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