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“Exhume our son’s body for decent burial,” family of Siaya Covid-19 victim asks State

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Villagers in Ukwala, Siaya County, were woken up in the middle of the night with sounds of hoes pounding the ground in the presence of armed policemen and county health officers.

In a body bag was their son, 59-year old James Onyango , a father and a husband who had died of Covid-19 after travelling from Mombasa to his rural home.

The family members, some of whom are now quarantined, had just been informed that James had died of Covid-19.

It was a burial like no other in Luo land. There were no dirges. No disco matanga. No budholiel. No animal slaughtered.

It was a major deviation from tradition as a man whose funeral would have been felt far and wide was buried before you could say “yawa!”For a community that respects its dead and strives accord them the best burial rights possible, a midnight burial is an abomination.

The family has condemned the manner in which their kin was buried with no dignity. Onyango’s younger brother Zack Onyango, who is quarantined in Siaya, has decried what he calls the “disregard for family rights” saying that his brother was “buried like a dog”.

“We didn’t have any intention of burying our brother at night. We wanted to give him a decent burial during the day,” he told Standard Digital on phone.

READ ALSO:   Village shock as Covid-19 victim is buried at night

Zack said that the rushed burial at night contravenes Luo culture and could even psychologically affects the deceased family.

“Luo culture does not allow someone to be buried at night like a dog the way they did to my brother. This thing will affect the kids,” he lamented.Zack said that they are now requesting the government allow them accord his brother a decent burial as required by the culture.

“We want the body to be removed from the grave then taken to the mortuary then we can set a day and bury him in a coffin,” he said.Currently, over 16 close family members are quarantined as they await to be tested for Covid-19. However, two widows have had their samples taken to KEMRI laboratory in Kisumu for testing and are yet to get the results.

Doubts on tests

The family has raised questions about how the government tested their kin and declared him a Covid-19 victim, given that it takes days for the results to be out.For example, in the case of Onyango who died on Friday, April 10, at 7 pm; his samples were taken and it took only a few hours for the results to be out.

Zack told Standard Digital that when he arrived at Matibabu Medical Centre at 8 pm on Saturday, his brother’s remains had been put into a body bag, an indication that the hospital had made the diagnosis.He said that his brother had not complained of Covid-19 related symptoms such as cough, fever and difficulties in breathing.

READ ALSO:   Village shock as Covid-19 victim is buried at night

He said: “He was only complaining of chest pains which I think was linked to the minor injuries he sustained after an accident at Awasi on Monday, when he was coming home from Mombasa.” Disconnect

On March 24, 2020, The World Health Organization, published a guide for handling and safely disposing bodies of Covid-19 victims.

The article titled Infection Prevention and Control for the safe management of a dead body in the context of COVID-19 gives various precautionary measures on how to handle such bodies in the mortuary, their transportation to burial sites, safe grieving behaviour and subsequent disposal of the bodies.

But of great concern is the fact that the way Siaya County health officers and the police disposed of the body contravenes the WHO guidelines.For instance, there is a viral video depicting two people dressed in protective gear dumping the body of the deceased in a shallow grave, by estimation less than two metres deep.

This is notwithstanding the fact that according to WHO guidelines, bodies of victims of infectious diseases like Covid-19 must buried at least two metres deep.

When asked by the Standard why the body of Mr Onyango was hurriedly disposed of, a senior county health official argued that the decision was to shield the village and the close family members from the danger of contracting Covid-19.

READ ALSO:   Village shock as Covid-19 victim is buried at night

The Standard


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Lifestyle

Mukhisa Kituyi: Why I think I can be a good President

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He is considered one of Kenya’s finest brains and has held several high positions both locally and internationally.

Currently serving as the Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Dr Mukhisa Kituyi’s decorated CV is impeccable.

In an interview with a local TV station on Wednesday, Kituyi spoke of his desire to occupy Kenya’s top seat, saying rising from adversity during his childhood days is a huge motivation.

“As I have gone to 119 countries around the world, I am constantly asking myself what they are doing better than us that makes them shine.

“I feel my body still has the energy…my head still has the intellectual capacity to make that contribution in a practical way…” he said.

Adding: “I have a sense of shared empathy with the vulnerable, not only a desire to give hope to the hopeless but a burning ambition that through enterprise Kenya, I can be part of the solutions to build Kenya for the next generation.”

Kituyi said once he leaves his position at the UN he will share his ideas with Kenyans and he strongly believes he will be the right person for the job.

READ ALSO:   Village shock as Covid-19 victim is buried at night

“In the increasingly likely case that I will be offering candidature for President of this country after I leave my position with the UN, I think I will give the Kenyan population reason why I think I will be the right person for that job.

“I cannot do it while I am still winding down my international obligations but I think I am the face of a set of Kenyans who believe in purposeful Kenya,” he said.

Responding to those who claim he is not in touch with the realities on the ground due to extensive travel, Kituyi said he believes in constant learning and does not have all the answers but wants to be part of a team that will engage in structured positive conversations.

Mukhisa has also had stints in the political arena having been elected to the Kenyan Parliament for the first time in 1992 on a Ford-Kenya ticket and was re-elected in 1997 and 2002 as Kimilili MP.

He was also Kenya’s Minister of Trade and Industry from 2002 to 2007. During this period, Kituyi chaired the Council of Ministers of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the African Trade Ministers’ Council for two years.

He also served as chairman of the Council of Ministers of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States, and was the lead negotiator for Eastern and Southern African ministers during the European Union-ACP Economic Partnership Agreement negotiations.

READ ALSO:   Village shock as Covid-19 victim is buried at night

He was convenor of the agriculture negotiations carried out at the World Trade Organization’s Sixth Ministerial Conference held in Hong Kong, China in 2005.

From 2008 to 2012, Kituyi was a member of a team of experts advising the presidents of the nations of the East African Community on how to establish more effective regional economic links.

From 2011 to 2012, he was a consultant for the African Union Commission, where he helped to develop the structure for a pan-African free trade area.

Immediately before becoming UNCTAD Secretary-General, Kituyi was Chief Executive of the Kenya Institute of Governance based in Nairobi.

by Standardmedia.co.ke


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Man’s burial inside his house baffles Kirinyaga residents

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Residents of Mucagara Village in Kirinyaga County were on Wednesday evening treated to a rare funeral after a man was buried inside his house.

They watched in astonishment as the coffin containing the remains of the 65-year-old retired coffee factory manager, Simon Muriithi Mwaniki, was lowered into the grave that had been dug in the living room.

Some whispered to each other during the dramatic send-off which left many in awe.

According to the man’s relative, prior to his death, he had expressed his wish to be buried in the house.

Emotions ran high as the funeral ceremony went on in the village in Gichugu Constituency.

“We had to act according to his wishes to avoid a curse and being haunted by his spirits,” said Mr James Njuki, the man’s eldest son.

Mwaniki was hurriedly buried in a brief ceremony conducted by an African Independent Pentecostal Church of Africa priest, Jackson Muchiri.

Committed suicide

When Mwaniki committed suicide, no one mourned his death as he had asked family members not to do so when he was alive.

“Before he took his life he had told us that there should be no mourning when he dies. Therefore, we ensured that we never gathered at any time within the homestead to mourn him,” added Mr Njuki.

READ ALSO:   Village shock as Covid-19 victim is buried at night

Mr Njuki recalled how on November 18 they found their father dangling from the roof of his house with a rope around his neck.

It was then that the matter was reported to the local police officers who drove to the scene and took the body to Kibugi Funeral Home.

His children suspected that their father took his life due to the depression he suffered after his wife, Juliana Muthoni, died.

“My father started drinking heavily after his wife died. He loved my mother so much and we think he was so much affected by her death and became depressed,” said Mr Njuki.

Rev Muchiri described the funeral as unique.

“For the 38 years that I have been conducting funerals, this is the first time to bury someone inside a house,” he said.

The residents said they were taken aback when they arrived at the homestead and saw the grave inside Mwaniki’s house.

“We were baffled. We have never witnessed such a funeral in this village. This is a funeral of its own kind which shocked all of us,” Mr Eliud Muriithi said.

by nation.africa


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Where were the authorities? residents ask as Kenyan man is buried inside his living room

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Residents of Mucagara Village in Kirinyaga County were on Wednesday evening treated to a rare funeral after a man was buried inside his house.

They watched in astonishment as the coffin containing the remains of the 65-year-old retired coffee factory manager, Simon Muriithi Mwaniki, was lowered into the grave that had been dug in the living room.

Some whispered to each other during the dramatic send-off which left many in awe.

According to the man’s relative, prior to his death, he had expressed his wish to be buried in the house.

Emotions ran high as the funeral ceremony went on in the village in Gichugu Constituency.

“We had to act according to his wishes to avoid a curse and being haunted by his spirits,” said Mr James Njuki, the man’s eldest son.

Mwaniki was hurriedly buried in a brief ceremony conducted by an African Independent Pentecostal Church of Africa priest, Jackson Muchiri.

Committed suicide

When Mwaniki committed suicide, no one mourned his death as he had asked family members not to do so when he was alive.

“Before he took his life he had told us that there should be no mourning when he dies. Therefore, we ensured that we never gathered at any time within the homestead to mourn him,” added Mr Njuki.

READ ALSO:   Village shock as Covid-19 victim is buried at night

Mr Njuki recalled how on November 18 they found their father dangling from the roof of his house with a rope around his neck.

It was then that the matter was reported to the local police officers who drove to the scene and took the body to Kibugi Funeral Home.

His children suspected that their father took his life due to the depression he suffered after his wife, Juliana Muthoni, died.

“My father started drinking heavily after his wife died. He loved my mother so much and we think he was so much affected by her death and became depressed,” said Mr Njuki.

Rev Muchiri described the funeral as unique.

“For the 38 years that I have been conducting funerals, this is the first time to bury someone inside a house,” he said.

The residents said they were taken aback when they arrived at the homestead and saw the grave inside Mwaniki’s house.

“We were baffled. We have never witnessed such a funeral in this village. This is a funeral of its own kind which shocked all of us,” Mr Eliud Muriithi said.

-Nation.co.ke


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