Police exhume body wrongly buried in Navakholo

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Those sent to pick the body from the mortuary were afraid to go inside the room, they shared the name of their person to the mortuary attendant who brought the body ready for burial, they didn't care to confirm it

By Seliphar Musungu, Kakamega

Police officers in Navakholo constituency have been forced to exhume a body that that was mistakenly buried in a wrong family two days ago thinking it was their relative.

According to the family, their kin died while at home on July 23, this year after a long illness.

He was taken to the Kakamega County Teaching and Referral hospital mortuary where they took his body for burial July 29 and buried the following day but they were surprised when unknown people stormed their compound and claimed to be the rightful owners of the body. 

The Late Rev Emanuel Shamwata

The County Splash News established that the day the body of Emanuel Shamwata was taken to Kakamega mortuary, another body of almost the same name, Emanuel Shiyonga had been taken to the same mortuary and the names might have been the ones that confused the mortuary attendant while to give out a wrong body.

“Those sent to pick the body from the mortuary were afraid to go inside the room, they shared the name of their person to the mortuary attendant who brought the body ready for burial, they didn’t care to confirm it, said Meshark Ambundo, son to the deceased. 

Despite slight disagreements among the family members about the physical appearance of the body the family in question decided to proceed with the burial ceremony.

“His body was much black than how he was when alive, our disagreement led to the intervention of some experts who assured us that bodies change in color after being kept in mortuary refrigerators”, said Ambundo

Two days after the burial, a family from Kabras stormed their compound claiming to be the rightful owners of the body accusing them of stealing their body.

“They came with a letter from Kakamega mortuary claiming that the body was theirs, we visited the mortuary and yes we confirmed it wasn’t there’s, ours was still lying at the mortuary”, he said.

The family is now requesting the intervention of well-wishers and good Samaritans to come to the aid and help them cater the cost of the burial of their kin saying that they had previously incurred expenses of more than half a million.

“More than 500,000 shillings was used in his burial expenses considering he was a pastor to 23 churches,” he said.

However, according to the Abaluhya tradition, after such an incident happens the body of the wrongly buried person is exhumed at night while the coffin and clothes worn by the person are burned to protect the family from being haunted by the dead person’s spirit.

“Some traditions will be performed to the wrongly buried person, a goat and a cock will be killed and blood smeared on top of the grave before it is exhumed”, said Richard Anyungu. 

Ends

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