A family in Eburinde village, Butere sub-county in Kakamega was thrown in shock and grief after county officials forced the exhumation of the body of a deceased colleague who was buried with service uniform.
Mr Martin Shikuku Alukoye, 31, who worked with the Kakamega County Youth Service, drowned in River Eburinde on August 7 and was buried on the night of August 11.
He was reported to be epileptic and drowned after he collapsed while crossing the river.
BURIED FULLY DRESSED
He was buried fully dressed in the green coloured county youth service uniform including boots, service cap and a lanyard.
On Monday, Ituti community county administrator, accompanied with other administrators, visited the home to take back the service attire that was allocated to the officer when he joined the service.
They demanded to exhume the body of the officer because it had been buried with County Youth Service uniform.
Efforts by the family to resist and plead with the officers to let the body of their late son rest in peace fell on deaf ears.
The county officials, without any court order, forcefully exhumed the body amid entreats by the family to reach an agreement.
RECLAIMED THEIR PROPERTY
The helpless family watched in disbelief as the coffin was brought out of the grave, the body removed and the deceased stripped naked as the officers reclaimed their property.
“The officers went against the laws of the land and the laws of our forefathers as they dismantled the coffin to reclaim the uniform. We had fully involved the County Government in the burial arrangements and they resisted our proposal to bury our son with his job regalia,” said Mr Francis Mutamba, uncle to the deceased.
Mr Mutamba said a section of the county officers were present during the burial but did not advise the family about burying their departed colleague in the service uniform.
Ituti sub-location assistant chief Daniel Namayi condemned the action taken by the county officers and threatened to lead the family in taking legal action against them.
“Once a body has been buried, it requires anyone with a complaint to acquire a court order in order to exhume it. The county administrators have gone against the law in recovering their clothing,” said Mr Namayi.
Elders of the Abang’onya clan condemned the decision taken by the county administrators.
“We had decided to bury our son at night in line with culture which dictates that a person who died by drowning should not be buried while the sun is shining. But the county officers have surprised us when they decided to exhume the body to recover their regalia. It is a new gesture and elders have to consult widely on the next course of action,” said Mr Mutamba.
The body was reburied on Monday evening after the elders conducted rituals to cleanse the family.