‘It is not our culture!’ Ken Okoth’s paternal family oppose planned cremation


'It is not our culture!' Ken Okoth's paternal family oppose planned cremation
The paternal family of the late Kibra MP Ken Okoth before addressing the press on July 31, 2019.

In Summary

  • The family, addressing the media on Wednesday led by spokesman Raymond Mbai, maintained that the fallen MP deserved to be laid to rest next to the father’s grave at Amoso village in Kochia ward, Homa Bay County.
  • They further expressed interest to be involved in any burial plans for the late legislator by the organizing committee in Nairobi.

By James Latano

The paternal family of the late Kibra Member of Parliament Ken Okoth has now opposed plans by his immediate family to cremate him at a private function on Saturday.

The family, addressing the media on Wednesday led by spokesman Raymond Mbai, maintained that the fallen MP deserved to be laid to rest next to the father’s grave at Amoso village in Kochia ward, Homa Bay County.

They further expressed interest to be involved in any burial plans for the late legislator by the organizing committee in Nairobi.

“In the Luo tradition, we have never heard that when somebody dies they are burnt; that is not our culture. We have never heard such a thing, so we have got no idea about that,” said Mr. Mbai.

“We would not wish our cousin Ken Okoth to be cremated. It is against the Luo tradition and our cultural belief. It is our wish that they find another option.”

The paternal family also stated that they were more than willing to welcome Ken Okoth’s mother, Anjeline Ajwang, to the home despite her breakup from the deceased’s father Nicholas Anayo Obonyo in the 1980s.

“Traditionally, as the Luos do it, if Okoth is brought here, then the mother is also brought here…to be close to her son’s grave. So we are not only ready to welcome Ken, we’re ready to welcome the whole family because the husband who had quarreled with the mother of Ken is no longer there,” said Leonard Otieno, another family member.

“We have no quarrel with anybody, we welcome all of them and we’ll appreciate them to be here together with us.”

Preparations are presently underway at Okoth’s maternal home where his body is expected to land before it’s taken to Got Rateng’ Secondary School for public viewing and prayers before interment.

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