The deceased members of the Kenyan sect Good News International Church probably also fell victim to organ trafficking. An autopsy revealed that organs had disappeared from several bodies. This is evident from court documents.
At least 112 bodies were found in the Shakahola forest in southeastern Kenya over two weeks ago. These were mainly members of the Christian sect Good News International Church. Cult leader Mackenzie Nthenge allegedly convinced the victims that they would meet Jesus if they starved.
An autopsy, meanwhile, confirms that most of the cult members died of starvation. However, some cult members – including children – were strangled, beaten or suffocated, said Johansen Oduor, who heads the forensic service.
“Autopsy reports have also shown missing organs in some of the victims exhumed to date,” court documents show. Perhaps the organs were stolen just before the bodies were dumped in mass graves. Reference is therefore made to “a well-coordinated trade in human organs involving several perpetrators”.
The court documents also call for the bank accounts of influential pastor Ezekiel Odero, released on bail last week, to be frozen. Odero is said to have received large amounts of money, presumably from believers who Mackenzie had advised to sell their belongings.
The search for bodies and mass graves in Shakahola forest resumed on Tuesday after the operation was suspended due to bad weather.