Kenyan cult leader faces trial over death of over 400 followers

The leader of a Kenyan doomsday cult, Paul Nthenge Mackenzie, has been sent to trial on charges of terrorism and deaths of more than 400 of his followers.

The self-proclaimed pastor appeared in court in the Indian Ocean port city of Mombasa along with 94 co-defendants on Monday.

Mackenzie was arrested in April 2023 for allegedly inciting his followers to starve to death in order to “meet Jesus”.

He and his co-accused also face charges of murder, manslaughter, kidnapping, and child torture and cruelty in separate cases.

It was reported that the remains of more than 440 people have been unearthed in a remote wilderness from the Indian Ocean coastal town of Malindi.

According to autopsies carried out on some of the bodies, it was revealed that while starvation appeared to be the main cause of death, some of the victims including children were strangled, beaten, or suffocated.

Previous court documents also said that some of the bodies had had their organs removed.

AFP