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State to Resume Search and Exhumation of Bodies in Shakahola

The Government is set to resume the search and exhumation process of more bodies at Shakahola Forest in Kilifi County next week, Interior CS Kithure Kindiki has said.

He said the team of pathologists are about to conclude a postmortem of 110 bodies that have so far been retrieved from the scene of crime even as said experts have warned that there could be more bodies in the expansive forest.

Speaking in Embu during an inspection tour of various government projects including the renovation works of Moi Stadium that is set to host this Year’s Madaraka Day Celebrations, Kindiki said the county was yet to come to terms with the gravity of the tragedy.

He termed religious extremism, radicalization and indoctrination as the third threat the country was facing after terrorism and the banditry and cattle rustling in the North Rift and Upper Eastern Region.

Kindiki said the same way they have dealt with terror attack networks in the past is the same way they will deal with threats posed by religious extremism.

“We have decided, this event, sad as it is, will be the last one, we will do whatever it takes to make sure we do not get this kind of harm ever again in the country, “the CS said.

He said some of the measures they have taken so far are administrative including transfer of security and other line government personnel to give confidence to the ongoing operation and assure the country there will be accountability.

Kindiki said they intend to make further arrests in the coming days, noting they had zeroed in on second and third tier collaborators to the main perpetrators of the Shakahola Massacre.

“We will prosecute and punish them in accordance to the law,” he said even as he lauded President William Ruto for establishing a multisectoral taskforce with a view of not just looking at the Shakahola issue, but also on ways of regulating religious institutions.

He said they were confident the taskforce will come with a framework of the policy the country will adopt and the regulations including legislative proposals on how to curb religious extremism.

“We need to know what to do to ensure people waving Bibles and Qurans do not come and commit these kinds of crimes in the name of God,” said the CS.

He said though the move may be met with resistance, he said there was no turning back in a bid to ensure restoration of religious sanity.

“I want to assure the people of Kenya as the minister responsible for public safety, we will reign in rogue clergy hiding under the constitutional right of freedom of worship no matter the resistance,” he said.

By Samuel Waititu

 

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