Two pastors are due to appear on Tuesday before Kenyan courts suspected of being behind the deaths of at least 109 people found buried in what has been dubbed the “Shakahola forest massacre”.

Deeply religious and Christian-majority with more than 4,000 registered churches, Kenya has been stunned by the revelations of seeking God by starvation.

The two men are in detention and scheduled to appear in courts in different towns on Tuesday.

Self-proclaimed pastor Paul Mackenzie Nthenge, who set up the Good News International Church in 2003, will be in the dock in the coastal town of Malindi, accused of inciting followers to starve to death, “to meet Jesus”, at the sleepy nearby outpost of Shakahola.

Ezekiel Odero, a wealthy and well-known tele-evangelist, is expected in court at the East African nation’s second city Mombasa following his arrest in Malindi on Thursday.

Odero is suspected of murder, aiding suicide, abduction, radicalisation, crimes against humanity, child cruelty, fraud and money laundering.

The prosecution is seeking to detain him for a further 30 days, citing credible information linking the corpses exhumed at Shakahola to the deaths of several “innocent and vulnerable followers” from Odero’s New Life Prayer Central and Church.

Mackenzie Nthenge gathered his flock in the forest where some 30 mass graves have been discovered containing more than 100 bodies, most just children.

Mackenzie Nthenge, who turned himself in on April 14 after police first entered the forest working on a tip-off, stands accused along with 13 other people with murder, kidnapping, cruelty towards children among other crimes in court documents seen by AFP.

The Punch Newspaper


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