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My missing nephew left Meru to join a church in the Coast – woman pleads for help

The recent revelation that a number of people have left their homes to join a cult in Shakahola, Malindi in Kilifi County is worrying the extended family of Mr Brian Kathorima who also left his home in Meru, saying he had got a job in a church in the Coast region.

Mr Kathorima was partially orphaned following the death of his father, who separated from his mother when he was young.

In 2017, Mr Kathorima, who had dropped out of school in Form Three and started farming alongside his grandmother, told the family that his uncle had called him to the coastal region where he had secured a job for him.

“He told us that he was going to the Coast Region because he had secured a job in a local church,” said Ms Roseline Kananu, Mr Kathorima’s aunt.

According to the aunt, Mr Kathorima completely refused to visit his family left behind in Meru, saying he was very busy at work.

The aunt said Mr Kathorima went silent in 2019, which is not common, and they have not heard from him since.

Also read: Revealed: Kilifi cult leader’s journey from pulpit to prison cell

She said they became even more worried when they learnt that Good News International (GNI), led by Mr Paul Mackenzie, was asking people to starve as the only way to meet Jesus and go to heaven.

“We just hope that he is not one of the victims because when he started working as a farmer he was very hardworking and he was doing well,” the aunt said.

Asked if they had plans to go to Kilifi and see if his body was among those exhumed from Shakahola forest, Ms Kananu said yes.

Mr Kathorima’s family is one of the dozens of families who have come out to say that members of their family have left home saying they are joining a particular church in the Coast region.

On Monday 1 May 2023, government pathologists began conducting autopsies on the bodies already exhumed from the forest.

Mr Mackenzie and Pastor Ezekiel Odero are already in police custody after being linked to the bodies exhumed from shallow graves in the forest.

Also read: Truth behind the Malindi cult-like church unveiled by ex-members