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Wambui had dug her grave 20 years ago

Wednesday August 31 2011

SM Otieno’s brother Joash Ougo points to space next to his brother’s grave in Nyalgunga where they intend to bury Wambui Otieno. Wambui’s family on Wednesday said they would announce burial details later. Photo/JACOB OWITI

SM Otieno’s brother Joash Ougo points to space next to his brother’s grave in Nyalgunga where they intend to bury Wambui Otieno. Wambui’s family on Wednesday said they would announce burial details later. Photo/JACOB OWITI 

By NATION TEAM [email protected]

The late Wambui Otieno, rebellious in her life, had a dug her own grave in Upper Matasia, Ngong, 21 years ago.

The grave is next to a house she built in memory of her husband in 1986 after losing a long drawn-out court battle to bury him. (Read: Former freedom fighter Wambui dies in Nairobi)

She dug it in 1989, way before she fell sick and weeds growing on it is evidence of the amount of time that has gone by since the grave was dug.

Meanwhile, the family of SM Otieno said its ready to bury his wife Wambui Otieno next to his grave in Siaya County.

“She is our wife; we want her remains to be laid next to her husband’s grave here in Nyalgunga,” said Mr Joshua Ochieng Ougo after hearing about death of Wambui, his late brother’s wife.

Mr Ougo spoke even as it emerged that Wambui had prepared her burial place at her Upper Matasya home in Ngong.

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The family of the former freedom fighter met in Nairobi yesterday to begin burial preparations.

Her younger brother, Dr Peter Waiyaki, and her son-in-law George Mburathi who addressed the media after the meeting, said they had resolved to inform their relatives of the sad news before deciding on other details concerning the burial.

“My late mother-in-law had a lot of friends spread all over the world.

Wambui’s husband Peter Mbugua, 33, did not speak to the press.

A sombre mood engulfed SM Otieno’s Umira Kager home yesterday following the death of Wambui at Nairobi Hospital.

Mr Ougo feels obligated to bury his brother according to the Luo customs.

“According to our customs, when a man dies, it is only befitting to bury his wife beside him,” he said.

He added: “Unless my brother’s children decide otherwise, we will welcome Wambui’s body with both hands. We have already spoken to Umira Kager elders and we have come to a consensus that Wambui be buried here,” he said, pointing at an open space next to Otieno’s grave.

He noted that Wambui’s body would not be subjected to Luo burial rituals since they were Christians.

He said they were shocked when Wambui and her nine children refused to attend Otieno’s burial 24 years ago, saying that was the reason why a cross was never placed on the grave.

Reports by Lillian Ochieng, Lauren Onyango and Eric Oloo