Unease as kin denied access to Shakahola ‘cult’ rescuees 

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The government has been accused of denying friends and relatives access to persons rescued from the Shakahola forest.

Some of the families affected by the deaths of more than 210 people and the disappearance of at least 610 people have expressed concerns about the whereabouts and safety of their loved ones.

A rescue operation has been running alongside the exhumation of bodies in the forest in Kilifi County, where followers of a cult allegedly led by Pastor Paul Mackenzie are believed to have starved themselves, ostensibly to meet Jesus.

The search-and-rescue operation was carried out jointly by a multi-agency team of security officers and Kenya Red Cross officials.

Speed was of the essence to ensure those fasting in the vast forest were found alive.

But for the 14 families who have been told their loved ones are alive, it has been a mixture of joy and anger as they agonise over their whereabouts.

For a week, Ms Fatuma Salim looked after her sister, who was unable to do much by herself.

The woman is among those who were rescued from the forest last week.

“She was slowly recovering and I was happy that we could go home and take care of her. But I was shocked when I visited the hospital and was told that she was no longer there,” said Ms Salim.

“I was told that I would be called as soon as everything was settled. I am still waiting for that call,” Ms Salim told the Nation yesterday.

She explained that the family was close-knit until the death of her parents.

Content retrieved from: https://nation.africa/kenya/news/unease-as-kin-denied-access-to-shakahola-cult-rescuees–4237348.

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