The High Court Friday ordered an inquest into the death of marathon star Samuel Wanjiru and ruled that he be buried Saturday.
Mr Justice Anyara Emukule said there was no reason to delay the burial any longer, adding that an inquest should be conducted before the chief magistrate’s court in Nairobi.
Matters of death caused trauma and to allay such feelings, disposal of the body was necessary, he said.
“Postponement will worsen feelings of animosity and mistrust and I decline to grant further orders restraining interment,” he added.
Wanjiru’s mother, Ms Hannah Wanjiru, who had sought orders to bar her daughter-in-law, Terezah Njeri, from burying her husband until investigations were concluded, however declared she would not attend the burial because she believed investigations were incomplete.
“I am not satisfied with the High Court’s decision. I have decided not to attend the burial and I promise to keep fighting for my son’s rights. I will do anything in my power to stop the burial,” she said .
In her affidavit, Ms Wanjiru had said her son was murdered and asked for the burial to be stopped until those responsible were identified.
But Njeri’s lawyer Ndegwa Wahome said there was no need of postponing it since all that was required from the body had been done.
The judge said all he could do was order an inquest into the death to enable anyone who had evidence to air it.
He asked the affected parties where they preferred it be done and they all chose Nairobi.
Shoes and clothes
Wanjiru died on May 15 after falling off a balcony at his Nyahururu home following a quarrel with his wife.
Meanwhile, the athlete will be honoured posthumously with three government departments pledging to name institutions in Nyahururu after him.
An emergency diagnostic centre, a stadium and a library are to be named after Wanjiru who won the country’s first ever Olympic marathon gold.
This was disclosed at a meeting of the Nyahururu burial committee on Thursday night.
The meeting at Olympia Hotel hall attracted athletes, traders, residents and politicians who were also told that a mausoleum would be built at his Heshima village farm in Gitimu Local, Nyandarua West District, where fans could view Wanjiru’s running shoes and clothes as well as the medals he won in various races worldwide.
The committee, co-chaired by Mr Wahome and businessman Anthony Wagura resolved that reconciliation efforts to ensure that Wanjiru’s wife Terezah and her mother-in-law Hannah live in peace would continue.
Wanjiru’s body will be flown by police helicopter from Nairobi to Nayhururu, according to the committee.