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Shakahola cult leader on hunger strike dies in police custody

One of the Pastor Paul Mackenzie follower (the Shakahola cult leader) dies in police custody after staging hunger strike.

A follower of Pastor Paul Mackenzie, Joseph Juma Buyuka reportedly died while in police custody on Wednesday, June 21. 

Juma Buyuka according to preliminary reports was on a 10 day hunger strike in protest against the arrest of his controversial pastor. 

The victim was rushed to Malindi Hospital, where his condition deteriorated following a persistent ten days of hunger strike. 

State Counsel told the court that the other two followers were still in critical condition at Malindi Hospital.

In light of the tragedy, the State noted that the Mackenzie follower’s death raised concerns about the level of radicalisation that the members of his controversial Good News Church underwent.

“His death is a reminder of the dangers of starvation and the need for proper medical care for those who are on hunger strikes. 

“It is also a reminder of the need for further investigation into the activities of Pastor Paul Mackenzie,” the State Counsel stated. 

The latest death recorded brings the toll to four three people who succumbed to complications as a result of the hunger strike. 

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The police are still investigating the deaths of Mackenzie’s followers. 

It is not yet clear whether the victim’s death was caused by the hunger strike or by other factors.

Meanwhile, Paul Mackenzie is currently facing charges of murder, manslaughter, and child neglect. 

He is accused of leading his followers into starvation, resulting in the deaths of at least 300 people.

Mackenzie is currently awaiting trial. If convicted, he could face life in prison.

This comes even after exhumation of 93 bodies in the 10-day third phase that started on June 6 and stopped on June 16.

So far, the death toll of people who starved to death in phase I, II and III has clocked at 336 bodies.

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