• The directive will take effect Tuesday night and will give security agents powers to evict anyone still on the land for a search and rescue mission.
• "The multi-agency security team will upscale the search and rescue mission to save as many lives as possible,” he said.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki on Tuesday declared the 800- acre parcel of land in Shakahola occupied by Mackenzie followers a disturbed area and security operation zone.
The directive will take effect Tuesday night and will give security agents powers to evict anyone still on the land for a search and rescue mission.
“The entire 800-acre parcel of land that is part of the Shakahola ranch is hereby declared a disturbed area and an operation zone. The multi-agency security team will upscale the search and rescue mission to save as many lives as possible,” he said.
Kindiki made the remarks as the number of bodies recovered in relation to the cult linked to Pastor Paul Mackenzie rose to 90 on Tuesday.
This is after 17 more bodies were recovered from the farm. So far 34 people have been rescued from the farm including three who were found alive on Tuesday, Kindiki said after visiting the scene.
He said those rescued are traumatised and hoped they will recover. He said they are doing all possible to ensure justice in the cult probe.
“The purported use of the Bible to kill people cannot be tolerated. The government has nothing to hide and will ensure we convict Mackenzie with the most severe punishment available,” he said.
The CS said they will charge the leader of the cult Paul Mackenzie with serious charges.
“Over and above charging Mr Mackenzie with terrorism, I'm convinced that a case can be built for charging him and his collaborators with genocide.”
Police said they first found 10 bodies in one grave and six others in a separate one Tuesday afternoon.
Autopsy on the bodies is set to start on Thursday April 27, the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji said.
Kindiki said the pastor and his supporters can be charged with crimes of genocide under international law.
“I want to encourage the Director of Public Prosecution that it is not far-fetched to build a case of terrorism from what we have witnessed from this scene of crime. It is not impossible,” Kindiki said.
The exhumation went on Tuesday as Kindiki visited the scene. At least 213 people have been reported missing as the investigation into a macabre cult at Shakahola, Kilifi, continues.
Kenya Red Cross said on Tuesday it had set up tracing and counselling desks at the Malindi Sub-County Hospital for the Shakahola response.
At the tracing desk, 213 people had been reported missing, among them 112 who are children below 18 years who are suspected to be followers of controversial Malindi Pastor Paul Mackenzie.
Kenya Red Cross Society coast regional coordinator Hassan Musa said they are still receiving more relatives of family members who are looking for their loved ones.
He said the Malindi hospital mortuary is also overwhelmed with the bodies which are currently 90, including the 90 that were brought from Shakahola and those of people who died at the hospital.
Musa said they have also requested for a four feet container from headquarters which will be installed at the morgue to help in preserving the bodies.
Musa said plans are underway to increase more volunteers in Shakahola to help in the rescue mission and exhuming bodies.
Families and relatives of missing loved ones are flocking the rescue center to trace their loved ones
Police also rescued people from death by starvation in the period. Mackenzie, who is in police custody, is being investigated for influencing his followers to starve to death in order to meet their maker.
Police also suspect that some of the victims did not starve to death and may have been killed and then buried on the property.
The security teams arrested a man suspected to be a co-mastermind and the lead clergy attached to cult leader Paul Makenzie.