Shakahola cult leader Paul Mackenzie has been charged with the murder of 191 children in one of Kenya’s worst massacres after being arraigned in court, alongside 29 of his followers.
They are all accused of murdering innocent children when hundreds of people were forced to starve to death in the vast Shakahola forest in Kilifi County.
They all denied the charges read to them before Malindi High Court judge Lady Justice Thande Mugure.
One of the accused persons was not in court after a mental assessment determined he was unfit to answer to murder charges but his name is on the charge sheet.
Mackenzie and his followers were recently charged with terrorism, manslaughter among other charges.
These charges stem from a gruesome tragedy in which hundreds of individuals were forced to starve to death in a vast forest near the Indian Ocean.
The state had initially requested a two-week period for a mental assessment of the accused persons before proceeding with murder charges.
The grim events leading to these charges unfolded as Mackenzie, the head of the Good News International Church, reportedly ordered his followers to undertake extreme acts, believing it would allow them to ascend to heaven before an impending apocalypse.
Over several months, authorities conducted extensive exhumations across vast forested areas, revealing the remains of more than 400 individuals. This discovery marks one of the most significant cult-related tragedies in recent history.