Sister Tells Of ‘Heartbreak’ Over Kenya Cult Member Accused Of Starving Kids

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When Roseline Asena’s younger brother quit drinking after joining a Kenyan church run by now notorious cult leader Paul Nthenge Mackenzie, she hailed the self-proclaimed pastor for “saving” him from the clutches of alcoholism.

Little did she imagine that two decades later, Kevin Sudi Asena would be charged with murder and accused of working with Mackenzie to starve scores of followers, including his own wife and children — the youngest only a year old.

“My heart sank, and I felt afraid,” the 43-year-old mother of three told AFP, her voice tinged with despair, as she described the moment when she saw her brother in handcuffs on television.

The 41-year-old is among 16 suspects accused of operating an armed — and apparently well-fed — “enforcer gang” tasked with ensuring that no one broke their fast or left their forest hideout alive, investigators said, with more than 100 bodies already exhumed from mass graves in the bush.

Autopsies carried out on 100 bodies found in the coastal Shakahola forest have found that while starvation appeared to be the main cause of death, some of the victims — including children — were strangled, beaten, or suffocated.

The gruesome saga, dubbed the “Shakahola Forest Massacre”, has shocked Kenyans, including Asena, who has since launched a desperate search for her five nieces and nephews.

“I don’t know what happened to my brother. I am very heartbroken.”

The family first realised that all was not right with Mackenzie’s Good News International Church when the zealot began urging parents to remove their children from school, claiming that the Bible did not approve of education.

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