Makenzie Nthenge, a pastor in Kenya, has been detained in connection with the deaths of four churchgoers who were allegedly instructed to fast in order to “meet Jesus.”
On April 14, the police conducted a raid in response to the tip about “ignorant citizens starving to death under the pretext of meeting Jesus after being brainwashed by a suspect, Makenzie Nthenge, a pastor of Good News International Church”.
During the raid, four of the members were found dead while eleven others were rushed to the hospital.
Three of those in the hospital are said to be in critical conditions. The 11 taken to hospital were seven men and four women aged between 17 and 49, the report said.
According to Charles Kamau, criminal investigations chief of Malindi sub-county, “The pastor is under arrest after he surrendered because he knew we were looking for him.”
The pastor has been held, according to Kamau, pending his April 17th court appearance.
There are rumours of a probable mass burial site in the Shakahola forest, where other devotees might have been interred, and investigators are anticipated to carry on with their search on Saturday.
“It is further suspected that there are many victims in the forest land believed to belong to the suspect,” the police report said.
According to the local media, Nthenge was apprehended and accused last month following the death of two children from starvation while in the care of their parents. Subsequently, he was granted bail of 100,000 Kenyan shillings ($700).