Numerous bodies have been recovered from mass graves, and Beatrice Ajenta, an air hostess, is among those missing. On April 24, 2023, 26 additional bodies were discovered in the Shakahola forest in Malindi, Kilifi county, bringing the total to 73. The death toll may rise even more, as at least 112 individuals have been reported missing in the region by the Red Cross.
The deceased were members of a cult known as Good News International Church, led by Paul Mackenzie. It has been discovered that the cult is made up of individuals from various backgrounds, including highly-educated professionals. Beatrice Ajenta is one of them. She left her high-paying job as an air hostess in Doha, Qatar, to join Mackenzie’s church in Malindi.
Beatrice sold all her assets, including a Ksh7 million plot of land, to join the church and donated all the proceeds as a tithe. She relocated to Shakahola, where her mother had been a member of the cult for a long time. Beatrice arrived in Malindi by plane and then traveled by matatu to Shakahola with her sister and niece.
Beatrice joined the church a few weeks ago, and her close friend Anna claimed that she followed her parents to the church to fast, which resulted in the deaths of many people. Beatrice met Anna a few days before heading to Shakahole village to starve on the promise of seeing Jesus, as Mackenzie had promised his followers.
Beatrice briefly met with Anna on April 4, 2023, and gave her a necklace with a photo of her son Jason. That was the last time Anna saw her friend, and she was unable to locate her in the following days. Beatrice’s sister Constance, their parents, and Jason, her nine-year-old son, were allegedly senior members of Mackenzie’s church and are thought to have starved to death. Michael, Beatrice’s brother, is still missing.