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47 bodies found after Kenyan pastor told members to ‘starve to meet Jesus’

BY Kunle Daramola

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Forty- seven bodies have been dug out of their graves by Kenyan police in Malindi, a coastal town in the southeastern part of the country.

According to the BBC, 15 members of the Good News International Church were rescued from shallow graves in the Shakahola forest.

Kenya Broadcasting Station (KBC) said that 58 graves have so far been identified, adding that dead children are among those that have been exhumed.

Meanwhile, Paul Mackenzie Nthenge, the founder of the church, also known as the “cult leader”, though in police custody, has denied any wrongdoing.

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Nthenge was arrested on April 15 after four bodies suspected of having starved themselves to death were discovered by the police.

The preacher was said to have instructed his congregation to starve themselves in order to “meet Jesus”.

“In one grave, investigators found the bodies of three children with their father on one side and their mother on the other side. Another grave contained the bodies of a woman and a girl, both facing each other. All appeared to have died in recent weeks,” a police source told AFP news agency.

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“Police have identified at least 58 suspected graves on the grounds of the Good News International Church, raising fears that the death toll will rise significantly. One Kenyan media outlet reported that more than 100 people may have been buried in the graves.

“We have not even scratched the surface which gives a clear indication that we are likely to get more bodies by the end of this exercise.”

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