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Kenyan cult: Robert Mackenzie says his brother is a good man

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Kenyan Pastor, Paul Nthenge Mackenzie, who is accused of ordering his followers to starve to death "to meet Jesus" faces terrorism charges over what has been dubbed the "Shakahola Forest Massacre". The grisly discovery was made last month of mass graves near the Indian Ocean town of Malindi.

His brother, Robert Mbatha Mackenzie, says he knew him as a good man.

"He was a preacher just in other churches but come the year 2004, he officially started his own church and carried on until in the year 2017 when he got arrested for his first-time case over his teachings which alleged that his preaching was radical and against the law and that he told parents not to take their children to school and as well told people not to take medicine when sick. He then closed the older church in 2019 and in the year 2020 he got married and moved to stay in Shakahola in Kilifi County for about two years and then his first case resurfaced and used to come here in Malindi for hearing to and from Shakahola until February this year when he got re-arrested and came out on a cash bail bond of ten thousand shillings about 10 000 USD then and come April this year again he got arrested with the same case and is in police cell to date."

Mackenzie, who founded the Good News International Church in 2003, turned himself in on April 14 after police acting on a tip-off first entered Shakahola forest.

"I knew Pastor Mackenzie my brother as a good man and as a person who could be emulated in society by people and I will say may be if he later changed because of the way I knew him from his childhood to the point he started his church and later moved to Shakahola, I never saw my brother as Pastor as evil, I never saw anything evil in him. He was a good person who loved his people and if we had a problem, he offered support as a family. If he is found guilty let the law prevail and let him be charged as per the law but if found innocent then he should be freed." added Robert Mbatha Mackenzie, Pastor Paul Mackenzie’s brother .

A Kenyan court on Wednesday ordered a doomsday cult leader accused over the deaths of dozens of people to be held behind bars for three more weeks.

A total of 133 people have so far been confirmed dead, many of them children, after investigators said Tuesday they had unearthed another 21 bodies from the forest site.

The case has stunned Christian-majority Kenya and led President William Ruto to set up a commission of inquiry into the deaths and a task force to review regulations governing religious bodies.

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