One of 30 suspects being held in police custody for his alleged role in Kenya’s doomsday starvation cult has died.
Joseph Juma Buyuka – along with some of the other suspects – had gone on hunger strike at the beginning of the month in protest at his detention.
He was then moved to a hospital in the south-eastern town of Malindi, where he died.
“We suspect that the deceased died from complications associated with a hunger strike. We can only await for a post-mortem to ascertain the cause of death,” a senior prosecutor informed a court in Mombasa, Kenya’s main coastal town.
None of the suspects, including cult leader Paul Nthenge Mackenzie, have yet been charged as police continue their investigations.
The self-proclaimed pastor and the other suspects are believed to have encouraged members of the Good News International Church to starve themselves to death.
Since April, 336 bodies have been exhumed from shallow graves in a remote forest. More than 600 other people are missing.
Two other detained suspects who have been on hunger strike have been admitted to hospital in critical condition.
The court is to decide next Tuesday whether Mackenzie will remain in police custody for another 60 days.