Villagers block 89-year-old man’s burial, demand relatives be traced first


Villagers block 89-year-old man's burial, demand relatives be traced first
File image of a grave. PHOTO| COURTESY

In Summary

  • According to eye witnesses who spoke to Citizen Digital, village elders had allegedly obtained a burial permit from the area administrator to allow them lay the deceased – identified as James Otieno Onino - to rest but the villagers objected the move.
  • They reportedly demanded that the body be taken to the mortuary and relatives of the deceased, who has been a cattle herder in the region for years, be traced and informed of his death.

Residents of Thidhna village in Suna East, Migori County, on Saturday evening interrupted the burial of an 89-year-old man since his next of kin had not yet been identified.

According to eye witnesses who spoke to Citizen Digital, village elders had allegedly obtained a burial permit from the area administrator to allow them lay the deceased – identified as James Otieno Onino – to rest but the villagers objected the move.

They reportedly demanded that the body be taken to the mortuary and relatives of the deceased, who has been a cattle herder in the region for years, be traced and informed of his death.

Area Chief Daniel Matolo, however, denied claims by village elders that he had issued them with a burial permit.

According to Mr. Matolo, the elders had indeed sought the permit to bury the deceased but he did not issue it to them.

The administrator added that efforts are currently underway to trace the deceased’s family members said to be residing in Siaya County.

The body of the deceased was on Saturday discovered in a house formerly built for police officers at Thidhna where he had been living for several years.

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Story By George Juma
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