A parliamentary committee has summoned Interior CS Fred Matiang’i for questioning following his ban of overnight mourning events popularly known as “disco matanga”.
The matter was raised by Rabai MP William Kamoti who protested that the ban imposed in Kilifi by Dr Matiang’i violates the culture of the locals.
The lawmaker urged the CS to consider lifting the ban and allow mourners to give a befitting send-off to their loved ones in line with their culture.
“What measures has the ministry put in place to ensure security is provided during cultural celebrations to enable communities give their departed kin deserving send-off in line with their cultural and traditional practices?” Mr Kamoti asked
“Every community has a way of celebrating their dead. In Kilifi and particularly Rabai, dead people are celebrated in overnight events," he added
In January, Dr Matiang’i banned disco matanga in Kilifi County saying it has become a haven for criminals.
“This thing called disco matanga is no longer a cultural event. Criminals are taking advantage to commit crimes,” he said.
The ban sparked a heated debate on the floor of the House Tuesday as MPs expressed mixed reactions about the move.
While a section of MPs accused the CS of interfering with the African culture of mourning the dead, others supported Dr Matiang’is action.
“It is important we respect the culture of others and most importantly respect our own cultures. What actually stands as a rightful way to give befitting send-off has now been turned to something else,” said Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir.
Nominated MP Cecily Mbarire and Wilberforce Oundo (Funyula) pointed out that disco has had negative impact in the society especially in the rural areas hence the ban should stay.
Majority leader Aden Duale told Christians to borrow a leaf from Islam where a person is buried immediately after death.
“Once a person has died, he needs prayers,” Mr Duale said.
Dr Matiang’i is now expected to appear before the committee of National Security and Administration to answer the question on the ban of disco matanga in Kilifi County.