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DNA tests to be used for Shakahola bodies identification

Interior Cabinet Secretary Professor Kithure Kindiki arrived in Kilifi County on May 1, 2023, to oversee the autopsy process of the exhumed bodies from Shakahola.

The autopsy will be carried out by the Government’s Chief Pathologist Dr Johansen Oduor, and is expected to reveal the cause of the death of over 100 bodies that have so far been exhumed.

While addressing journalists ahead of the much-awaited exercise, the CS said that allegations some bodies had missing body organs will be known after the exercise, saying that the government will not hide any information.

“If any of our people have their organs missing, we will tell, the world. There is nothing we are hiding. That is the truth and we will have to find out why those organs are missing, who took them, and where,” CS Kindiki said.

The CS said the government will be fair and transparent on the ongoing investigations about the Shakahola massacre.

“The report I have as of this morning is that action has been taken on anybody, and also up the ladder in case we find out any other person who ought to have taken some action and has not taken action we will also ask them to step aside, not because we are judging them as guilty but because we want the perception of fairness and to give the public confidence that government will not try or none of us will try to perhaps obstruct justice.”

His remarks come as the government intensifies the search and rescue mission of the people missing in the 800-acre plot of land in Shakahola forest Kilifi, which was being used by the controversial Pastor Paul Mackenzie.

According to Dr Oduor, the family of missing people will be required to submit their DNA samples which will then be matched with those from the exhumed bodies in the ongoing process.

“Once we get to know the relatives who have reported the missing, they got to submit their DNA to the government chemist so that now when we got samples from the deceased, these will be matched so that we can know who belongs to who,” Dr Oduor said.

In the last two days, five people were rescued, and the government said that aerial surveillance has been deployed to complement ground troops.

The CS recently declared the 800-acre piece of land in Shakahola as a disturbed area, prohibiting members of the public and journalists from accessing it.

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