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Their names: List of people lost in Shakahola cult and State's new headache

Members of the public stream into Malindi Sub-County Mortuary in Kilifi County on March 26 2024 in search of their missing relatives.

Photo credit: File| Nation Media Group

A list of identified victims of the Shakahola massacre has exposed a challenge faced by the state to point out the exact identities of several siblings whose remains were exhumed from the forest in Kilifi County.

The list, exclusively obtained by the Nation shows that so far, at least two families whose several children perished under the Shakahola cult may have to wait longer for a more thorough scientific process to differentiate their identities.

According to the state, among the families affected is that of Kadzo Charo Mwathethe alias Anna Karisa Kazungu who is in custody over the Shakahola deaths.

It is alleged that Kazungu had three children with her in the forest whose whereabouts were unknown at the time she was taken into custody.

Through DNA profiling, the State managed to confirm that one of the 429 remains that were preserved at the Malindi sub-County Hospital mortuary was Kazungu's son, but it was impossible to know which one of the sons it was exactly.

The report concluded that the remains, which were identified by DNA matching with Kazungu’s, could be either Kahaso Charo (born in 1986), Sharifu Charo (1993) or Emmanuel Charo (2001).

“Although the body has been identified through DNA as belonging to her son, it should not be released until further confirmation is concluded regarding which particular son it belongs to,” the report states.

Another family facing a similar fate is that of Betty Mwaka and Joshua Jilani. The family had reported their five daughters missing and so far the government has managed to identify one body that matches the DNA profile of Mwaka.

List of identified victims

  1. Harry Ngonyo, male adult
  2. Esther Biria Masha, female adult
  3. Seth Hinzano Ngala, male child
  4. Emily Wanje, female adult
  5. Raphael Temba, male adult
  6. Evabra Dito Ngala alias Imani, male child 
  7. Could be either Kahaso Charo (1986), Sharifu Charo (1993) or Emmanuel Charo (2001). Their mother Kadzo Charo Mwathethe alias Anna Karisa Kazungu who is in custody over the Shakahola deaths had three of her children with her.
  8. Could be any among five daughters namely Cecilia, Selina, Faith, Penina and Sarah of Betty Mwaka and Joshua Jilani who reported them missing.
  9. Neema Robert, female child between 9-10 years
  10.  Agnes Salim, female adult
  11.  Emmanuel Robert, adult male
  12.  Ejah Nyaleso, male child 8-9 years
  13.  Bryson Amanya, male adult
  14.  Lorna Zayuni, female juvenile 14-16 years
  15.  Sara Peter, female child, 4-7 months
  16.  Joyce Amani, female child, 5.5-6.5 years
  17.  Sifa Edison, male child
  18.  Joseph Juma Buyuka, male adult
  19.  Stacy Hadama, female child, 7-8 years
  20.  Mary Nekesa Wanyama, female adult
  21.  Alex Konde Kaluwa, male adult
  22.  Christopher Were, male
  23.  Elizabeth Dzidza Mwatsuma, female adult
  24.  Brenda Achieng, female adult
  25.  Judith Farasi, female adult
  26.  Elna Mpa, female child
  27.  Gloria Riziki Chengo, female adult
  28.  Nathan Mathu, male child
  29.  Lucy Mkyagawa, female adult
  30.  Liza Agatha, female adult
  31.  Rukia Masha, female adult
  32.  Pamela Muhonja, female adult