The government is set to resume exhuming bodies from the Shakahola forest as the postmortem exercise comes to an end.

Chief government pathologist Johansen Oduor on Thursday, May 4, 2023, announced postmortem had so far been conducted on 100 bodies.

Speaking during the daily briefing at the Malindi Sub County Hospital mortuary, Oduor disclosed that government pathologists were left with 11 bodies including one of a follower of the controversial preacher Paul Mackenzie who died in hospital after being rescued.

“As you remember there were some bodies which were still at Kilifi hospital they were brought here eight of them which we are going to do an autopsy on,” Oduor said.

He added that out of the 11 bodies, eight were being preserved in the Kilifi Sub County hospital Mortuary and had been brought for postmortem to be conducted on them.

The chief government pathologist further noted that most of the bodies had severely decomposed, stating that most victims died from starvation.

He nonetheless disclosed that two victims had injuries on the head meaning that they died because of the injuries they sustained.

Oduor further asked members of the public who are looking for their relatives to visit the Malindi Sub County hospital mortuary at 8 am in the morning so as to be able to see if they could find their loved ones.

“The relatives who intend to identify their relatives should come tomorrow at 8 am so as to identify them,” he said.

Oduor stated that postmortem on the remaining 11 bodies shall be done on Friday to close the exercise and resume the exhumation of bodies in the Shakahola forest.

The government on April 28, 2023, suspended the exhumation of bodies at Shakahola forest owing to bad weather.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki made the announcement after touring the area.

“The experts have advised us that the procedure of doing the exhumations for purposes of judicial and court processes involves a lot of sensitivity. The ground must be dry to a certain level so that they are able to conduct the exhumations without interfering with the evidence or further damaging the bodies. Therefore we have suspended the exhumations because of the weather and as soon as it dries up a little bit we will resume,” Kindiki explained.

The Interior CS also revealed why journalists and human rights groups were barred from accessing Shakahola forest to follow up on the exhumation exercise.

“The process of exhuming the bodies is a court-ordered process; It is done based on certain ethical and professional standards, that’s why we cannot allow everybody to take part in the exhumation, or to take images,” Kindiki said.

“Such images are limited even by international law because they constitute outrageous crimes against human duty. These are the bodies of people’s loved ones and kin and so there is a limit even in terms of what security agents can do,” he added.

The CS further noted that the government was also limiting the movement of law enforcement agents who have access to the grounds.

MCK in a statement warned that denying journalists access to the forest to cover the tragedy opens the floodgates of misinformation, rumours and confusion to the whole country.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *