A man named Paul Mackenzie has been accused of persuading his followers to starve themselves to death.
Kenyan authorities discovered more than 400 dead bodies in mass graves. A total of 90 people have been charged with murder alongside him.
A cult leader who allegedly told his followers to starve themselves to prepare for the end of the world has been charged with murder after mass graves filled with 429 dead bodies was found in a Kenyan forest.
Kenya’s director of public prosecutions said on Tuesday that Paul Mackenzie, along with more than 90 others, will be charged with murder, manslaughter, radicalization, cruelty and child torture, among other crimes, after the bodies were dug up last April.
The more than 400 bodies, which include children, have been dug up from dozens of mass graves in the remote Shakahola forest, in southeast Kenya.
There was evidence that a majority of the members were suffering from malnourishment at their time of passing, but many, including children, also showed physical marks of abuse.
The top official in charge of Kenya’s prosecutions, Mulele Ingonga, pushed the charges in response to pressure from a magistrate in the coastal county of Kilifi who threatened the prosecution to charge the suspects within two weeks, else the court would release them.
According to Mackenzie, he closed his church down in 2019 and claims he could not have caused the deaths of the hundreds who were found in mass graves.
Survivors told investigators the pastor had instructed them to fast to death before the world ends so they could meet Jesus.
The tipoff suggested that there were shallow graves in the area filled with the bodies of at least 31 of Mackenzie’s followers.
Mackenzie turned himself into police the month before the bodies were found, after two children starved to death in the custody of their parents.
He was released on bail for the Kenyan equivalent of just £560.
Kenya is home to many cults, as the country has an essentially religious mindset.