How Nation’s journalists stumbled on the mass graves of Shakahola


It all started back in 2017, when Paul Mackenzie was arrested on charges of radicalization and ‘teaching in an unregistered institution.

Some parents in Malindi had raised concerns about him advocating for their children not to go to school.

The alleged powerful preacher was later tried and acquitted in October 2021.

His name pops up again in the mainstream media this year for something far worse.

What began as one family searching for their two missing children ended up with the discovery of mass graves, hundreds of bodies exhumed, and 600 more people missing, now dubbed the Shakahola Massacre, not only in the country but across the globe.

Together with my Nation colleagues, our assignment was to do a keen follow-up on a story we had started about the missing two children.

We had no idea what was before us.

A story that we will be telling through this podcast.

A four part series about grieving families, locals, a powerful preacher, and a negligent government as told by the journalist who broke the Shakahola story

We followed keenly behind the footsteps of homicide detectives inside the Shakahola Forest, from mapping and identifying mass graves to the search and rescue of victims believed to be followers of Kilifi-cult leader Paul Mackenzie to the exhumation exercise, and brought you the podcast series.

In our first episode, we will be tracing how the whole operation came into existence, who was the first person to expose the activities, and how Mackenzie followers were duped


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