More graves, 5 human skeletons found in Shakahola Forest

Kithure Kindiki

Interior CS Kithure Kindiki during a press briefing on May 25, 2023 in Malindi. 

Photo credit: Farhiya Hussein | Nation Media Group

More graves have been found in Shakahola Forest, Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki announced on Thursday.

Prof Kindiki also said five human skeletons have been found in the land linked to Kilifi cult leader Paul Mackenzie.

The number of people rescued is 91, while the number of people whose DNA samples have been collected for matching is 93.

"Some of the victims are attempting to escape from the forest and we have been able to rescue some of them. They (victims) are now moving towards Galana Kulalu and the Tsavo East National Park,” Prof Kindiki said.

"We will make sure we comb the whole area, as we have scaled the technological devices that we have been using and also brought on board the government’s director of survey to help us in tracking."

In total, 34 are in police custody over the mass deaths.

The suspects are the first, second and third-tier leaders of the cult reportedly led by Paul Mackenzie.

Prof Kindiki said the investigations will take longer than expected and upon completion of the autopsies, the third phase of the exhumations will resume.

"For us to establish with accuracy the responsibility of these crimes, the investigations might take a little longer. The DPP will be looking into charging the perpetrators with various offences, hence why it will take time,” he said.

"We have data showing more grave sites are inside Shakahola forest, therefore, the suspension that took place last week will resume. To free the hospital mortuary, bodies will be transferred to temporary morgues in order to allow for more bodies to be retrieved," CS Kindiki added.

He assured that there will be accountability for all public officers whose actions led us to this crime.