The mystery has deepened at the Pastor Paul Mackenzie fast-to-death mission to meet Jesus Christ. When the news broke out that followers of Paul were fasting to death, it sounded peculiar in terms of the excesses of a cult. But when the Kenya government stopped the journalists, Kenyan leaders, and the Red Cross from visiting the area, the incidence advanced higher than just a cult matter. There had been several other peculiar happenings related to cult teachings in other nations.
On November 18, 1978, a similar incident led by Rev. Jim Jones occurred at Jonestown in Guyana. During the incident in Guyana, the journalists were not prevented from covering whatever actions the police were doing to uncover whatever had led to the deaths of people there.
The press covered every stage of the investigations. On March 17, 2020, a similar incident occurred in Uganda when a cult leader named Joseph Kibwetere organized the burning alive of his followers. The government of Uganda remained open throughout the entire investigation process. The media in Uganda and different organizations were allowed to visit the area to confirm whatever was being reported.
What has surprised Kenyans and the entire world has been the action taken by the Kenya government to prevent journalists and other organizations from witnessing exactly what has been going on at Shakahola and the subsequent release of Mackenzie on a Kshs. 10,000 bond, an equivalence of $100.
At first, it started well with the media coverage, but after exhumed bodies revealed missing certain body parts, the Kenya government rushed quickly to seal the forest and prevented the media and other organizations from accessing the area.
In the past, a number of Kenyans disappeared mysteriously and there have been very little efforts made by the Kenya government to investigate the disappearances of some of those people. With the current suspicious behavior of the government towards what is happenings at shakahola, so many questions have arisen as to whether some of the bodies hidden from visibility by the journalists and by different organizations could be those of the mysteriously disappeared Kenyans, some of who had very promising leads.
The leads to the mysterious disappearance of Dickson Bogonko Bosire and Albert Muriuki were very promising and would have led directly to their fate. However, the government chose not to follow the matter despite voluntary evidence availed to the CID at the time.
It is, therefore, possible that the two and other Kenyans who disappeared mysteriously would be among the bodies currently being exhumed at the Shakahola. That may have been the main reason why the government had to prevent the media and other organizations from seeing the exhumed bodies. That doesn’t seem right and should not be allowed in a democratic Kenya.
Such incidences should be open for the journalists. Had it not been for the journalists, no one would have known about what Mackenzie was doing to his followers at Shakahola.
Dr. Isaac Newton Kinity
Counselor and Human Rights Activist
Former Secretary General
Kenya Civil Servants Union.