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Ken Okoth cremated in Kariokor, Nairobi

Saturday August 3 2019

The late Kibra MP Ken Okoth

The late Kibra MP Ken Okoth's memorial service was held at the Starehe Boys Centre on July 31, 2019. PHOTO | ANITA CHEPKOECH | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

COLLINS OMULO
By COLLINS OMULO
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Kibra MP Ken Okoth was on Saturday morning cremated in the presence of his close family members.

ODM Director of Communication Philip Etale told Nation.co.ke that Okoth was cremated in Kariokor, Nairobi at 9am.

LUO CUSTOMS

Okoth's lover Anne Thumbi, who had sought a court order to be allowed to participate in the interment of the legislator was not present during the event.

ODM Secretary-General Edwin Sifuna said Ms Thumbi's lawyer said they (Thumbi and her son with Okoth) opted to skip the event.

Okoth's wish, according to his wife, was that his body be cremated, but the Luo Council of Elders were opposed to it.

His mother wanted the body buried in her home, and his father’s relatives said that is not possible under Luo custom, and that he should be buried near his father’s grave.

Mr Okoth’s wife, Monica, and his younger brother, were pushing for the cremation of the fallen MP’s body, while his mother Anjeline Ajwang’ and his elder brother wanted the body buried at her home in Kasewe, Kabondo Kasipul.

Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga, who was drawn into the controversy, said Mr Okoth’s body should be handed over to the family to determine its last rites.

This position is echoed by the Luo Council of Elders, through Mr Nyandiko Ongadi, who insisted that the burial arrangements must conform to the Luo culture, and that Okoth’s wife should not dictate the manner in which he should be given a send-off.

“Our culture requires the wives of our sons to automatically adopt Luo practices,” Mr Ongadi said, insisting that Mr Okoth’s wife, who is of European descent, should follow suit.

The Luo elder told political leaders involved in funeral arrangements to consult with the council, which he said was in talks with Okoth’s paternal family in Kochia, Homa Bay.