More bodies of people allegedly lured by Pastor Paul Makenzi have been retrieved from shallow graves in Malindi’s Shakahola village in Kilifi County in Kenya, Standard Media reports ALSO READ: Four starve to death while fasting 'to meet Jesus' On Friday, detectives, with help from the locals, exhumed seven bodies, including three children. Yesterday the team exhumed 15 bodies, including five children. Saturday's development gave credence to reports of several mass graves containing remains of worshipers of Makenzi’s Good News International Church. ALSO READ: Pastor dies of hunger attempting 40-day Jesus fasting According to Standard Media Kenya, even the torrential rains pounding the Coast could not erase the fetid of death in the thickets of Shakahola where detectives believe there are more than 60 bodies. Meanwhile, Malindi DCI chief Charles Kamau dismissed reports that pastor Makenzi had staged a hunger strike in police cells. He said more bodies were to be exhumed by the end of yesterday. The pastor is in police custody after a Malindi Magistrate Court allowed detectives to detain him for 15 days to enable them conduct investigations into activities of the alleged cult-like church in Malindi. Makenzi is suspected to have enticed his followers into starving to death, ostensibly to meet Jesus Christ. He has denied the allegations and insisted he closed his ministry in 2019. In a fortnight, detectives rescued 17 people with severe malnutrition who insisted they were the followers of the cult and Makenzi. The 17 are in police custody. It was a beehive of activity as detectives, government pathologists, local administrators and human rights activists visited the 840-acre farm to witness the recovery of the bodies. Family members of Makenzi’s followers were also present but barred from accessing the mapped areas. So far, the police have identified 58 graves, but the locals said there were more. Papa Jeff, a resident, expressed shock saying Makenzi was calm, peaceful and welcoming when he arrived at the place, but he later barred people from accessing his farm. “He even stopped boda boda riders from accessing the land. His followers stopped coming to Shakahola market where they used to shop,” said Jeff. Jeff, a boda boda rider, said Makenzi arrived at the village alone but gradually started inviting hundreds of his followers hence turning the area into a hub for business activity. “I used to ferry the followers from the village to the trading center and back until sometime in January when everything changed and we were denied access to the village,” he said. He added that the newcomers started threatening them not to enter the thicket-like farms and that is what raised eyebrows. George Karisa, a businessman at Shakahola trading center, said Makenzi’s followers used to shop at the trading center and that business was good. “They used to flock to the trading center to buy household goods and equipment but it reached a time when they stopped coming,” he said. Karisa said the number of those who have died could be more than what the police are reporting. “We have at least five people from our area who joined his church and there is one woman we forcefully ejected her after her husband died at the farm,” he said. On Friday, a Nigerian national, Abbas Babatunde, camped in the area searching for six of his kin he said disappeared two weeks ago from their Nairobi home. The Nigerian said his wife told him on April 8 that they were traveling from Malindi for prayers at pastor Makenzi’s farm in Shakahola. “Actually all six are missing. My in-laws, my wife, and my children. I used to live in Nairobi with my wife and she visited her sister in Likoni and they told me they were going to visit their parents in Malindi,” he said. He said he traveled to Malindi and went all the way to Shakahola using Google Maps until he found the police who were conducting the operation but had not seen his six family members. “I just hope to get them alive or dead, I will accept the result and the pastor has no conscience,” he said. Victor Kaudo from the Malindi Social Justice Centre said the government should increase personnel so that they can speed up the exhumations.