“President expresses shock and confusion over fatal cult incidents, questions failure of Kenyan authorities to intervene”
The head of Kenyan authorities, President William Ruto, expressed disappointment that the deaths of cult members could not have been prevented.
The leader of the Good News International Church, Paul Mackenzie, is accused of directing his followers to starve themselves, resulting in at least 201 deaths.
Mackenzie was arrested earlier this year for the murder of two children by asphyxiation, and starvation, leading to horrific consequences.
President Ruto believes the presence of government agencies in the area including police, intelligence services, and local administration, ought to have prevented Mackenzie’s activities from going unnoticed.
In a response to Kenyan news outlets, the President stated that he was taking responsibility for the disaster and that those responsible for the government’s failure would have to face their actions.
Mackenzie’s release on bail after his first arrest proved detrimental, as he returned to Shakahola forest and moved forward the predicted date for the end of the world from August to April 15.
Mackenzie surrendered to the police on April 14 after the rescue of 15 people who had been starving themselves. Last week, a court denied Mackenzie bail.
The head of Kenyan authorities appointed a commission of inquiry into the deaths in Shakahola and another group to review the regulations governing religious organizations to ensure that necessary measures are taken.