The investigation into the mass deaths at the Shakahola Cult faces a potential roadblock due to a lack of funding.

Dr. Johansen Oduor, the Government Chief Pathologist, requested an additional Sh100 million from the National Assembly Committee on Health to cover operational costs.

This request comes after only Sh30 million was allocated for allowances and operations since the investigation began in April 2023.

"We aren't just requesting funds for allowances. We need to purchase essential supplies like formalin and body bags for the exhumations," Dr. Oduor clarified.

The Ministry of Health had previously requested the additional funds through the Supplementary Budget Two, but the request was denied twice, in February and August of 2024.

Committee members expressed concerns about the timeline for completing the exhumations and ensuring efficient use of the funds.

Dr. Oduor responded, "The timeline is uncertain. Just last week, the Director of Criminal Investigations identified a mass grave containing an estimated 50 bodies."

Despite the funding shortage, some progress has been made.

As of now, 429 bodies have been exhumed, and DNA analysis for identification is ongoing.

The Government Chemist has successfully identified 34 bodies, which were released to their families last week.

"Initially, DNA identification was hampered by budgetary limitations and lack of facilities within the Ministry of Interior," Dr. Oduor explained.

"Fortunately, these issues have been addressed, and the process is progressing."

The deceased were followers of cult leader Paul Mackenzie.

He and 95 others face various charges in Mombasa and Malindi courts related to the deaths of the 429 members

The outcome of the National Assembly Committee on Health's response to Dr. Oduor's request will determine the pace and effectiveness of the Shakahola deaths probe.

The Senate Health Committee is currently reviewing Dr. Oduor's request and the additional funding may expedite the investigation process, bringing long-awaited answers to the families of the deceased.