Multiple bodies have been found in coastal Kenya on land owned by a pastor who was arrested earlier this month for telling his followers to fast to death to “meet Jesus.”
As of Monday, authorities say that 58 bodies have been found in mass graves.
According to Malindi sub-county police chief John Kemboi, additional shallow graves will need to be dug up on pastor Paul Makenzi’s property, who was arrested on April 14 over links to cultism.
Last week, four people were found dead from starvation at the Good News International Church.
Police are asking the courts to hold Makenzi to allow them to investigate the case further.
The pastor’s property was raided shortly after receiving a tip, in which police discovered 15 malnourished people there, including the four who subsequently died.
According to the followers, they were ordered to starve themselves so they could “meet Jesus.”
As of Friday, police started digging up Makenzi’s farm where dozens of shallow graves were found.
While in police custody, he went on a hunger strike for four days. Since then, he has been released on a bail of 700 dollars (100,000 Kenyan shillings).
Makenzi was previously arrested in 2019 and again in March in relation to the death of two children but was released.
Due to the growth of cults in the Malindi region, local officials have urged the courts not to release him.
In Kenya, a country with a predominately religious society, cults are common.