The Kenyan government has identified the names of 131 children who died in the tragic Shakahola cult massacre, which claimed the lives of over 400 followers of the Good News International Church.
A Shanzu Court heard on Monday that investigators have obtained the names of 131 out of the 184 children who perished in the expansive forest.
"What remains now is the matching of the names to the bodies in the morgue," Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Jami Yamina stated.
Yamina informed Shanzu Senior Principal Magistrate Yusuf Shikanda that although the children's credentials were destroyed, investigators have managed to piece together the information and are now confident that crucial details have been recovered.
He further explained that the investigators require a little more time to accurately match each name to the corresponding body, currently being preserved at the Malindi mortuary.
"All 131 children are associated with the 30 respondents in this case and the other 66 survivors. We have the names now for framing charges against the accused. However, we need to establish which name corresponds to which body," Yamina said.
The prosecutor said that, when the names of the dead children were presented to the 66 survivors in court earlier this month, they did not deny the evidence.
“Instead, the survivors challenged the state to provide evidence that the children were not in heaven,” said the prosecutor.
Additionally, a social inquiry report has recommended that only six of Paul Mackenzie’s followers can be released on bond.
However, the state has argued that the evidence gathered so far indicates that none of the suspects should be released on bond before or after formal charges are brought against them.