The family of a Kenya Wildlife Service ranger shot dead by Tom Cholmondeley 11 years ago says it will not allow the late billionaire to be buried until they are compensated.
Samson ole Sisina’s widow and son have contacted the family’s lawyer seeking to block the burial of Cholmondeley, who died at Nairobi’s MP Shah Hospital on Wednesday .
The family lost the legal battle to have Cholmondeley, the grandson of Lord Delamere, convicted of the murder when the case was closed by then Attorney General Amos Wako.
Speaking at their home in Olemutel Village in Narok County on Thursday, the family said it had asked lawyer Kitwa Kigen to stop the burial until its compensation demands are met.
The family has demanded 49 cattle and 27 acres of the Delameres' expansive ranch in Naivasha.
Sisina’s family spoke as reports emerged that Maasai elders had recently conducted a ritual at the gravesite of the former Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) ranger to curse his killer after attempts to reopen an inquiry into his death hit a snag.
The family’s spokesman claimed the rituals were strong and should not be taken lightly, saying the results are already manifest.
“It was a serious thing and it was conducted by very elderly Maasai. So when the elders heard the news, they knew it was a confirmation that the rituals still work,” said the spokesman, Torome, during an interview with the Nation.
“The curse will follow the kin even after the death of the killer. They must go back to Sisina’s family,” he threatened.
Sisina’s widow, Lucy, concurred with the threats issued by the family spokesman.
“This might not end very soon, as far as the blood of my husband is not paid for,” added Sisina’s widow, a mother of eight.
“According to the Maa culture, there are more misfortunes on the way. My children are living in abject poverty. They have stopped going to school and their tears will continue haunting them.”
Cholmondeley shot the KWS ranger, then working undercover, in April 2005, claiming he had trespassed onto his vast Soysambu Ranch in Naivasha. He claimed he shot the ranger in self defence.
Amid conflicting statements on how Sisina met his death, the case against Cholmondeley was dropped after the State said there was no evidence to sustain it.
Residents of Ntulele in Narok County protested the release of Cholmondeley, who had been charged with the murder.
Mr Wako, now the Busia County senator, terminated the case against him.
Last month, Sisina’s family petitioned Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko to launch fresh investigations.
Torome said the family and the community got frustrated that justice had not been served and resorted to traditional rituals.
The ranger's widow said that since his death, she has sold 200 sheep and 40 cows to pursue the court cases and pay legal fees.
“I have two children who are yet to join university after they passed their Form Four exams in 2014,” she said.
This is not the first time the family is trying to appeal the case.
On Thursday, the ranger’s mother, Lucy Parsimei, said she had sold all her livestock and used up other family resources to pursue the case.
“I was very, very angry because once again we never got justice. The Delamere family had tried to settle the matter out of court through our lawyers but they too started taking us round in circles,” she said.