Shakahola cult: IG Koome orders Internal Affairs Unit to probe police complicity

shakahola mass graves

Some of the 18 bodies exhumed by homicide detectives from land owned by cult leader Paul Mackenzie at Shakahola village in Kilifi County on April 23, 2022. 

Photo credit: Wachira Mwangi | Nation Media Group

Following allegations that police officers in the Coast Region, in Kilifi County in particular, were aware of clandestine activities around cult leader Paul Mackenzie and deliberately failed to act on several reports filed at various stations against him, an inquiry has been opened.

Inspector-General of Police Japhet Koome on Friday directed the Internal Affairs Unit (IAU) to immediately open an inquiry into claims of police inaction and complicity, and submit findings and recommendations to him for action.

To this end, the Nation has reliably learnt that IAU Director IAU David Birech travelled to Kilifi, accompanied by senior detectives, from the unit to commence investigations.

Further, senior officers who served in the county from 2019 to date, when Mr Mackenzie started operating within Shakahola, are scheduled to be interrogated and record statements with the IAU team on what they know about the deaths and the actions they took to prevent alleged criminal activities.

The move by the inspector-general is on the backdrop of support from Interior CS Kithure Kindiki to the IAU in dealing with rising cases of police misconduct.

While responding to questions from lawmakers in the National Assembly,  the CS reiterated that the IAU is capable of dealing with complaints against the police and that the work of the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (Ipoa) is to complement actions by the unit.