Already facing charges related to “terrorism,” self-proclaimed pastor Paul Mackenzie in Kenya was indicted on Tuesday, January 23, for 238 counts of involuntary manslaughter, along with 94 co-defendants who are members of his sect, the International Church of Good News. The charges stem from their involvement in the “Shakahola Massacre” case, where presumed followers of the evangelical sect were found dead, having allegedly fasted to death in a bid to meet Jesus.
According to the Office of the Attorney General, the incidents occurred between January 2021 and September 2023, with 238 victims whose remains were exhumed in the Shakahola forest. Paul Mackenzie, who led the sect, and his co-defendants are accused of involuntary manslaughter within the context of a “suicide pact.” Followers were encouraged to fast until death to meet Jesus before the predicted end of the world in 2023.
Deaths from Starvation
Autopsies revealed that most of the over 400 victims died from starvation. Some bodies, including those of children, showed signs of strangulation and suffocation.
Murder of Minors
Last week, Paul Mackenzie and his 94 co-defendants were already charged with four counts of “terrorism.” On January 25, the self-proclaimed pastor and several co-defendants are expected in court for charges related to cruelty to children. Next week, they will also face 191 counts of murdering minors.