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Heartbreaking testimony: Father of GSU officer killed in Shakahola speaks

The man whose family members’ deaths led to the revelation of the happenings in Shakahola, Kilifi County, has spoken for the first time.

Mr Titus Ngonyo, father to General Service Unit officer Isaac Ngala and two other children -Imani Ngala (two years) and Seth Ngala (five years) – who are still missing, said he had warned his wife not to join the Good News International Church.

Isaac Ngala, 36, a General Service Unit officer who left his job in Nairobi and joined Pastor Paul Mackenzie’s church in 2019 and right, his wife Emily Wanje, 35. PHOTO| COURTESY

In an interview with the Nation, Mr Ngonyo said the church had all the red flags when his spouse joined it.

“She started attending sermons at the said church alone while I was tending to the farm. Then, she took two of our children to that church. I warned her several times to stop going to Mackenzie’s church but she never listened to me. Now see what has happened to my family,” said Mr Ngonyo.

Also read: How air hostess quit her job for Kilifi cult – Nigerian brother-in-law speaks

Mr Ngonyo said he celebrated New years eve in 2021 with his wife, not aware that would be the last time he would see her.

“She used to sell charcoal and raised around Sh4,000. She sold everything in our house and went to Shakahola,” says Mr Ngonyo.

He says his wife introduced Isaac to the church.

“Isaac served as a GSU officer for seven years. When he quit to join the church, he had married and had two children at the time,” says Mr Ngonyo.

Also missing is Isaac’s wife, Emily, who quit her job as a nursery school teacher at a private school in Malindi. They joined the deadly cult between 2019 and 2020.

Isaac was lured to join Mackenzie’s church after he left his employment when their second born was only six months old.

Also read: Shakahorror! Kilifi cult’s victims had missing organs

A year later (in 2020), Mr Ngala lured his wife Emily to resign from work and join him at the church to serve God together.

Mr Ngonyo says one of his grandchildren was the one who was rescued and disclosed to authorities the happenings in Shakahola in April.

The boy revealed that his brothers had died three days before his rescue and were even buried. He told us that he had fasted for seven days without eating anything.

On May 18, 2023, 15 bodies were exhumed, and one was recovered inside the forest, bringing the death toll to 227. Coast Regional Commissioner Rhoda Onyancha said there were no arrests yesterday.

Meanwhile, the hearing of an application by Azimio la Umoja One Kenya to stop a commission of inquiry into the Shakahola tragedy from commencing its meetings will be held on Monday.

High Court Judge Lawrence Mugambi has ordered parties in the case to be ready for the application hearing on May 22.

The coalition filed the case last week, arguing that President William Ruto’s appointment of the eight-member team was illegal and amounted to a usurpation of powers vested in other state organs by the Constitution.

“Leave is granted to the petitioners to file further affidavits if necessary,” the judge said.

Azimio wants the commission of inquiry to be suspended until the petition is decided.

Also read: It should not have happened – Ruto apologises for Shakahola cult killings