‘Fasting to meet Jesus’ death toll exceeds 200, pastor says his family didn’t participate

Paul Mackenzie, the Kenyan pastor at the centre of the controversial ’40-day fasting to meet Jesus’ that has resulted in the death of more than 200 church members has disclosed that his family did not participate in the fasting, adding that he did not force anyone to starve to death.

The Kilifi-based man of God has been in the custody of law enforcement authorities since his arrest last month. He has been accused of operating a cult and making his followers starve to death in the name of seeking to meet Jesus and then buried their bodies in both mass and single graves in a vast Shakahola land belonging to him.

A rescue team set up by the Kenyan government consisting of detectives among others exhumed 22 more bodies on Saturday, May 13 pushing the death toll to exceed 200 and still counting.

It is believed that the preacher has been operating in the Shakahola forest for over a decade before his recent arrest. But in his defence to the police, Mackenzie denied operating a church in the area in question.

“There is no physical church anywhere in Shakahola. I bought the land and sold it to members, and some are yet clear payments,” the disgruntled pastor is quoted to have said.

Shanzu Principal Magistrate Yusuf Shikanda remanded the man of God into custody for 30 days following a request by the Director of Public Prosecution that he should be detained for 90 days to allow for investigations and to safeguard the suspect’s safety.



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