A family from Lukhokhwe Village of Bungoma County has appealed to the government to assist them get back the head of their deceased son Geoffrey Khaemba who died in a traffic accident in Malawi.
Speaking to the media on Wednesday, the wife to the deceased, Susan Nasimiyu said they were shocked to receive the headless body of her husband from Malawi and stressed that it is against tradition to bury a body in such a state.
“My husband who was working with Exotank Transport Company left home on August 18, 2019 for work in Mombasa. The following day, he called to inform me that he had been assigned to transport some cargo to Malawi,” said Ms Nasimiyu the widow.
The headless body of the 42-year-old long-distance truck driver who died last week in an accident while transporting goods to Malawi, has been preserved at Kiminini mortuary in Trans Nzoia County as the family ponders how to find the severed head before burial can take place.
“On August 21, I received a call from the transport company whose headquarters is in Mombasa informing me that he had been involved in a road accident and that he had died on the spot,” the widow said.
Nasimiyu said the family made arrangements to have the body transported back to Kenya and a week later the body arrived at Namanga border point where it was received and picked by an Exotank company driver who ferried the body to Nairobi where it was received by the family members.
“We were not allowed to view the body and the reasons given were that it was thoroughly sealed. We travelled the same night to Kiminini mortuary arriving at 7 am but to our surprise when we unsealed the cargo, the body was lying in a casket with the head missing,” lamented the widow.
She said when the family sought explanations from the company driver who is an Indian, he explained that he had been given the cargo and knew nothing about it.
Further enquiries by the family from the company’s management yielded no clear explanation on the whereabouts of the head and the transport company has since gone silent over the matter.
“I urge the government and well-wishers to assist me go to Malawi and seek out my husband’s head for burial together with his body which is still lying at the morgue,” said Nasimiyu.
The deceased’s father, Binon Khaemba, overcome with emotion said, “I want my son’s head back so that I can accord him a decent burial; according to the Bukusu tradition, we cannot bury a body with no head; am calling upon any person to aid me financially so that I can travel to Malawi to get my son’s head.”
Angelina Namaemba, the deceased’s mother narrated how she had struggled in bringing up her son only to die and his head disappear under mysterious circumstances while he was the sole family breadwinner.
“Am asking the Kenyan government to help us reach the government of Malawi so that we can get my son’s head and offer him a decent burial,” she said.
James Nekhwe a Bukusu elder from the area said that unless the head of the deceased is found the deceased’s spirit will haunt the family and cause misfortunes in the family.
“He will torment the living and the family will experience many problems,”
Nekhwe said and added that if the head is completely lost then a traditional ceremony should be performed by elders at the scene of the accident to appease the deceased so that his spirit cannot return to haunt the family.
However, Bishop Daniel Makecho of House of Power Church in Bungoma has appealed to the family to go ahead and bury the body of the deceased arguing that once a person dies he cannot be able to come back.
“Once a person dies he awaits judgement and cannot come back. The demons clothed in his body should be dealt with by the church and the family should have strong faith in God who is our sole protector from evil,” Bishop Makecho said.
By Maureen Imbayi