A village in Kakamega County is in shock after a two-year-old girl was buried alive by her three playmates in a shallow grave and suffocated.
The children involved in the bizarre incident in Mulwanda Village are aged five, six and seven years.
They are reported to have dug up a hole at the back of a house and filled it with water before performing the mock burial of the little girl.
She suffocated after being pushed into the hole, which was covered with soil.
The children later retrieved the body and dumped it next to a banana field.
The girl’s mother had left her daughter in the care of her grandmother in the village.
A relative of the girl noticed she was missing and started searching the compound. She stumbled on the body and alerted villagers about what had happened.
“I left home early to go for work and returned at midday and noticed Susan was missing. Her grandmother had left her playing in the company of other children to rush to the market,” she said.
SCREAMED FOR HELP
She said one of the children told her the little girl had died after they pushed her into a hole filled with water and covered it with soil.
“I could not believe what the child had told me and screamed for help, drawing the attention of villagers,” she said.
The grandfather of the little girl described what had happened as a big misfortune.
“We suspect the children who are underage were playing innocently and tried to copy what they have witnessed happening in burials in the village,” he said.
He said family members and elders will meet and prepare a cleansing ritual for the children involving drinking herbal concoctions after the burial of the girl.
“If we do not cleanse the three children, a curse may befall them and a similar misfortune will recur in future,” he explained.
The boy said to have led others in performing the mock burial of the girl, fled the village fearing reprisals.
The western region police chief, Mr Moses Ombati, described the death of the girl as an accident.
He said investigations were going on to establish the circumstances in which the girl had died.
"An inquest file will be opened and statements recorded from witnesses before the file is handed over to a magistrate to hear the inquest," said Mr Ombati.