21 more bodies exhumed from Shakahola, several others rescued

Bodies being exhumed from Shakahola./COURTESY

21 more bodies were exhumed on Tuesday in the second phase of the exhumation exercise being carried out by government agencies in the Shakahola forest.

While overseeing the resumption of the exhumation exercise on Tuesday, Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki said a total of 65 people had been rescued from the thickets, including two who were evacuated Tuesday morning by the multi-agency security team.

“I am afraid we have many more graves in this forest, therefore it leads us to conclude that this was a highly organized crime,” said CS Kindiki.

Interior CS Kithure Kindiki addresses the media during the second phase of the exhumation of bodies from Shakahola Forest./Joseph Akwiri

The Interior CS said the government will avail all information on the ongoing exercise, and that limited access to the exhumation sites was to ensure that there was no violation of fundamental rights.

“The exhumation process is a legal, medical, and human rights exercise that must be undertaken methodically and carefully to protect the dignity and privacy of families of the deceased persons,” said CS Kindiki.

25 people have so far been arrested while the entire 50,000-acre Chakama ranch remains a security area and scene of crime with limited access for all unauthorized persons.

“I can also report without prejudicing the ongoing investigations that we are zeroing down the tier two and tier three perpetrators who aided Mr Mackenzie to execute the heinous atrocity and we will be arresting and charging those associated with this organized crime,” said the CS.

Meanwhile, Post-mortem examinations on 112 bodies exhumed or recovered from Shakahola during the first phase of the exercise have been concluded. The exercise had been called off due to bad weather