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Shock as Bungoma mortuaries release wrong bodies

Thursday August 29 2019

A casket. Last Friday, leaders including Senate

A casket. Last Friday, leaders including Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka and Sirisia MP John Waluke attended the burial of Mama Grace Nakhumicha Wekesa, but the mourners unknowingly buried another woman. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

DENNIS LUBANGA
By DENNIS LUBANGA
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VALENTINE KAKAI
By VALENTINE KAKAI
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Mortuary attendants in Bungoma County are on the spot for releasing wrong bodies to relatives of the dead, raising fears that this might have been going on for a long time.

The blunder mainly occurs in cases where body tags bear almost similar names.

The most recent incident occurred in Mufungu village, Sirisia after it emerged that leaders from the region allied to Jubilee Party attended the burial of a ‘wrong body’.

MISSING BODY

A family from Nakalira village, Kimilili was shocked to find that the body of their kin was missing at a mortuary.

When the family went to collect her body on Monday, they were presented with a different body.

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After a long search, it emerged that there was an identification error and the body was wrongly transferred to Lugulu Funeral Home and later buried in Sirisia last Friday in a funeral attended by Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka, Sirisia MP John Waluke, with none of the mourners present having a clue that they were burying a ‘wrong body’.

The dead woman, Grace Nakhumicha Wekesa, 72, was the mother of former Sirisia Sub-County Administrator Evelyn Wekesa.

Nakhumicha's family did not realise that they had picked a wrong body from the Kimilili-based Dreamland mortuary.

They buried the body of Mary Nasimiyu.

Nasimiyu’s family learnt of her missing body when they went to collect it for the burial that was slated for Wednesday this week.

Four months ago, a family in Kimilili called on the management of Lumboka Mortuary to help them trace the body of their deceased relative after they mistakenly carried the wrong one from the facility.

Shortly after holding a brief prayer session at her home, the mourners realised that the body in the coffin was of someone else and not that of their deceased relative.

According to Mr John Khaoya – Chief Executive Officer Centre for Human Rights, staff at the mortuaries in question should face prosecution for exhibiting incompetence.

“It is clear from their actions that they don’t keep records of the deceased. They have to face prosecution for the agony they have caused the bereaved,” said Mr Khaoya.

Efforts to get a comment from the Bungoma County Health Executive Antony Walela on the matter were futile as his phone went unanswered.