The ongoing autopsy examination on the bodies exhumed from the cult-like Shakahola mass graves show children were either strangled or suffocated to death, post mortem examination by lead Government Pathologist Dr. Johansen Oduor shows.
This comes even as a lobby group filed a law suit seeking state compensation to victims by the state.
Kituo Cha Sheria now wants the government to compensate all the victims of Shakahola for failing in their duty to protect them from the cultist church in a petition filed in Milimani law courts through lawyer John Khaminwa.
The looby group says the National Police Service (NPS) and the national spy agency, the National Intelligence Service (NIS) failed the victims of the Shakahola who lost their lives.
“A declaration that by their acts and omissions the Director General of the National Intelligence Service, the Inspector General of Police, the CS Interior and the County Government of Kilifi have failed in their duty to provide the victims of the Kilifi Church their right to life as allowed in law,” the petition reads.
The Lobby also wants the court to declare that by their acts and omissions, the state has also failed in its duty to provide the victims of the Kilifi Church freedom and security as allowed in the constitution.
“A declaration that by their acts and omissions of the state, the victims of the Kilifi Church are deserving of damages to be assessed by the court,” reads court documents.
Khaminwa further argues that it is the duty of the state, including the Kilifi country government, to protect its citizens from external and internal threats.
He says that the acts of the church were well known because the church had its own TV station that aired disturbing content akin to religious radicalization but the security agencies did not act.
The post mortem done on the bodies exhumed from the Shakahola forest shows that most of the children were strangled to death.
The autopsy exercise is being undertaken at the Malindi Sub County Hospital morgue alongside detectives from the DCI’s Homicides Unit.
Yesterday, the team examined 30 bodies of which eight belonged to male victims and 22 females, of these, 15 are adults while nine are children.
Today’s autopsy raises the number to 40.
While addressing the press Oduor, said that most of the children victims have some features of strangulation and asphyxiation.
“Out of the autopsies done an 11-year-old female kid was strangled to death -she had clear marks in the neck and her bones were broken.” Odour said.
He also said one child had trauma to the head and three of them had asphyxiated- meaning that they had died for lack of oxygen probably due to suffocation.
Further, the Chief Pathologist said that two other kids had undergone smothering -this happens when someone blocks your nose and mouth so that you are unable to breathe and you die.
“From what we are hearing, there was some indication that they were being smothered, which can be one of the causes of asphyxiation. It was in two children. There were six bodies which we were not able to ascertain the cause of death because of the level of decomposition.” He added.
The pathologists took DNA from 27 people for purposes of identification, an exercise Oduor said may take months to be completed.
The exercise is expected to conclude tomorrow and the government will resume exhumation next week.
Oduor also says most of the bodies were badly decomposed hence posing it as a challenge, he, however, said all the organs were intact, amid rumours of organ trafficking.