Kenya: ‘Heads Will Roll’ – Ruto Apologizes Over Govt Failure On Shakahola Cult Deaths

Nairobi — President William Ruto issued a public apology Sunday over cult deaths in Kilifi’s Shakahola forest blaming the massacre by the Paul Mackenzie-led starvation sect to laxity by government agencies.

“There was laxity from our part as government and I must ask for forgiveness from Kenyans because 210 (bodies) so far have been found in graves,” Ruto said during a joint media interview televised from State House Nairobi.

President explained that government cannot run away from being apportioned blame for the religious massacre.

“We have all the relevant agencies and therefore this was a mistake. We can’t run away from being blamed.”

Mackenzie, a taxi driver-turned-preacher, is accused of inciting followers of his sect to starve to death “to meet Jesus”.

As a recourse measure, the Head of State stated that he had formed a commission of inquiry to ensure that relevant agencies which slept on their job leaving Kenyans exposed to the religious cult are held to account.

“The Judicial Commission of Inquiry will tells us who slept on their job for these things to happen. They will tells us who Mackenzie was working with and how we arrived to these graves,” the President said.

Cracking the whip

“I am not taking this issues lightly and definitely some people who are responsible for failure from the part of government will have to give an account. It shouldn’t have happened when he have all the agencies,” he added.

He further noted that the presidential taskforce will recommend legal and regulatory changes on religion, which will ensure that Kenyans are not to exposed to rogue men of the cloth who brainwash and extort Kenyans on the pretext of religion.

The President asked Kenyans to give the relevant investigative agencies ample time to get to the bottom of those behind the heinous religious indoctrination.

“The taskforce will involve religious leaders because we respect religion as country. It’s where we go to seek solace and help, we are Christians and believe in God. We’ll ensure that people like Mackenzie don’t use religion to hoodwink Kenyans,” Ruto said.

The President spoke even as police continued to detain Mackenzie who has not yet been required to enter a plea.

Terrorism charges

He appeared before an anti-terrorism court in Mombasa on Wednesday which ordered his continued detention for three more weeks pending further investigations over what has been dubbed the “Shakahola Forest Massacre”.