IN SHORT: As Kenya digests the grim story of several deaths linked to a cult, a photo, claimed to show a supporter of the cult’s leader, is instead from Nigeria.
At time of publication 110 bodies have been recovered from the Shakahola forest in the county. According to media reports, members of the Good News International Church believed that by starving themselves, they would be able to "meet Jesus" in heaven.
Autopsies have revealed that some of the dead may have been murdered.
It is in relation to this story that a photo of an emaciated man sitting on a mat on the floor has been posted to Facebook. It is claimed he is one of Mackenzie’s followers, who has vowed not to eat until he is released.
The man appears to have an open Bible in front of him.
The caption reads: “Sikuli na sikunywi adi Maji,mpaka pst Mackenzie aachiliwe. Pst Mackenzie diehard supporter,claims!”
The Kiswahili loosely translates as: “I am not eating nor drinking even water until Pastor Mackenzie is released.”
But does the photo really show a “diehard supporter” campaigning for Mackenzie's release?
Photo of Nigerian student taken in 2019
The photo shows Ikechukwu Oke, a 19-year-old student who fasted for 41 days. According to media reports, Oke was driven to this by family hardship.
He was taken to hospital in the southeastern Nigerian state of Ebonyi. The photo is not of a Mackenzie supporter and was not taken in Kenya.
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