Interior Cabinet Secretary Prof. Kithure Kindiki has called for stricter regulations on religious centers following horrendous discoveries on the Good News International church.
This comes as detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) unearth more disturbing details about the the church based in Kilifi county.
The CS was condemning the Shakahola Forest Massacre, which has resulted in the discovery of 39 bodies and counting in the 800-acre land.
“The unfolding Shakahola Forest Massacre is the clearest abuse of the constitutionally enshrined human right to freedom of worship. Prima facie, large- scale crimes under Kenyan law as well as international law have been committed,” he said in a statement on Sunday.
“While the State remains respectful of religious freedom, this horrendous blight on our conscience must lead not only to the most severe punishment of the perpetrator(s) of the atrocity on so many innocent souls, but tighter regulation (including self-regulation) of every church, mosque, temple or synagogue going forward.”
The Interior CS also ordered a reinforcement of police troops in the Shakahola area to assist with the ongoing investigation ahead of his visit on Tuesday.
The investigation was prompted after a few followers of the cult were rescued by officers from the Malindi police station, and later family members of other missing victims gathered at the police station in the hopes of finding their kin.
The main suspect is the church’s preacher, Paul Mackenzie Nthenge, who allegedly duped worshippers into fasting “so that they can see God,” a ritual that resulted in the deaths of many worshippers buried in mass graves.
However, the preacher is yet to face charges because the government pathologist and DCI officers have yet to exhume all the bodies.