Kenyan cult leader Paul Nthenge Mackenzie charged with murder of 191 children

Christian cult leader Paul Nthenge Mackenzie. Photo courtesy: Screengrab from YouTube

A Kenyan court on Tuesday charged Christian cult leader Paul Nthenge Mackenzie and 29 other suspects for the murder of 191 children.

Authorities had dug out bodies of children from Shakahola forest in eastern Kenya last year, leaving the nation shocked.

Paul Nthenge Mackenzie and his associates were accused of running a cult in the region.

Authorities exhumed over 400 bodies from the sprawling forest after months of search efforts, reported CNN.

The cult leader and 29 others pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Paul Nthenge Mackenzie and Good News International Church

Mackenzie ran the Good News International Church and allegedly encouraged his followers to starve themselves and their children so that they could reach heaven.

Investigators allege the cult was preparing for the end of the world under the instructions of Mackenzie, reported CNN.

He has been in custody since April last year.

Investigators reportedly worked in the forest for several months to find evidence.

According to reports, autopsy results later showed many of the recovered bodies had died from starvation while others had signs of blunt trauma and strangulation.

Authorities had dug out more than 400 bodies from the forest after searching there for months.