President William Ruto on Sunday, April 30 announced that he would take stern action against religious leaders misleading Kenyans with false teachings in the wake of the Shakahola massacre which has seen more than 100 bodies exhumed.
Speaking during a church service at Makutano Stadium in Kapenguria, West Pokot County, Ruto revealed that he will work with all of Kenya’s religious leaders to form a task force that will crack down on quack preachers taking advantage of their congregants for selfish gain.
“I will consult all religious leaders in the country to have a task force to weed out the characters who want to abuse religion, to run businesses and things that are anti-religion in Kenya. We want to provide a framework agreed upon with our religious leaders. A framework that will provide for self-regulation so that churches and spiritual leaders can have a mechanism where they can point to government those who want to abuse religion for other purposes,” he revealed.
He also announced that the government would set up a Judicial Commission of Inquiry in the next one week to investigate what really led to the Shakahola massacre.
“We are Christians who believe in God. There are those who use religion to destroy other people and also other destructive means. To ensure that what happened in Shakahola will never happen again, we are placing a Judicial Commission of Inquiry so that we can get to the bottom of what really happened in Shakahola with (pastor Paul) Mackenzie and all his collaborators,” he stated.
The President added that the move followed the transfer of all commissioners based in Kilifi County who were accused of laziness in their line of work.
“Recently, we transferred all commissioners who slacked on their jobs including the National Intelligence Service (NIS) and Criminal Investigation Department (CID) who were there when the massacre occurred. So this week, I will appoint the commission so that what happened at Shakahola doesn’t happen again,” he affirmed.
- Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki on Friday, April 28 announced a massive reshuffle of all police bosses in Kilifi County, noting that the changes would enable the government to conduct thorough investigations into the mass graves at Shakahola Forest.
“The government has decided that effective today, we will transfer all station, division, sub-county, county heads and commanders of all agencies within Kilifi County. We will replace them with their colleagues from elsewhere so that we can show the public that what we are doing is for the good of the country and for the good of justice,” said Kindiki.
Kindiki further warned that the government would take administrative action against government officials who failed to take action over the matter.
He however assured that the transfers were not meant to implicate anyone with the crimes but to ensure that the operation is carried out successfully.
32 bodies were recovered from the forest, bringing the total death toll to 110.