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Kinamramba! Cult leader Paul Mackenzie blames the media for his woes

Kenyan cult leader Paul Mackenzie is blaming his legal woes on the media. Speaking in court, Mr Mackenzie accused the media of not investigating deeper in matters regarding the bodies being exhumed in Shakahola Forest.

Mr Mackenzi is currently being held in police custody as investigations continue into the cultic deaths of hundreds of his followers whose bodies were buried in mass graves in Shakahola Forest, Kilifi County.

As of May 18, 2023, the body count of those exhumed from the graves stood at 235.

“I also desire to know why I am behind bars. I haven’t known until know. The message I can tell Kenyans is that I rebuke the media in Kenya. You are against me. You are misleading Kenyans because you have not investigated deeper about what happened but you are broadcasting things that even I don’t know about or what I did. Which is wrong,” Mr Mackenzie said.

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Last month, the High Court allowed the police to hold Mackenzie for a month alongside his wife and 16 other people as investigations into the roles of the shocking deaths continue.

According to Government Pathologist, Dr Johansen Oduor, many of those who were unearthed were discovered to have died of either starvation, blunt force trauma, strangulation or suffocation.

Mr Mackenzi is alleged to have told his followers that the only way they would meet Jesus was to starve themselves to death. His church was located in Shakahola Village and those who died were buried in the forest.

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News of these deaths broke after a family filed a missing persons report of two children and when they were found dead, their murders were linked back to Mr Mackenzie. Despite being granted bond, police continued with their investigations as they closely monitored Mackenzie, who surrounded himself with his followers.

The turning point in the investigations was when neighbours began attacking people believed to be Mackenzie’s followers, seriously injuring them. These victims were chanced upon when they had gone to buy food for Mackenzie and his people. Police questioned the victims and it was then that they learnt of the secretive happenings in Shakahola Forest.

News of the shocking deaths prompted President William Ruto to institute an inquiry to probe religious leaders in the country believed to be preaching radical teachings. Other religious leaders who since been investigated include Yesu wa Tongaren (Jesus of Tongaren) who claims to be Jesus Christ.

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