LAGOS, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA)- Government agencies should have been able to prevent the deaths by starvation of more than 200 church members in Kenya’s coastal region, says President William Ruto.
Mr Ruto, who took responsibility for the disaster, said the incident could have been avoided.
“I am not taking it lightly,” said Mr Ruto in a joint interview with Kenyan media outlets late Sunday. “I am taking responsibility that as president, this should not have happened.”
“And certainly, some people who are responsible for this failure on the part of the government will have to give an account,” he added.
Authorities alleged that Paul Mackenzie, leader of the Good News International Church, had ordered his followers to starve themselves and their children to death so they could go to heaven before the end of the world.
The death toll so far stood at 201, making it one of the worst cult-related disasters in recent history.
President Ruto said given the presence of Government agencies in the area, including police, intelligence services and the local administration, Mr Mackenzie’s activities should not have gone unnoticed.
“It should not have happened when we have all the agencies. We have our intelligence; we have our CID (Criminal Investigations Department); we have chiefs and all the other people in the whole of that ecosystem,” noted the Kenyan President.