A Siaya Court stopped a mother and his son from interring the remains of her daughter in a cemetery belonging to a former cabinet minister’s family.
The Siaya Principal Magistrate (SPM), J.O. Ong’ondo barred Grace Achieng Otieno and his son, Wycliff Otieno from burying the late Betty Otieno on former cabinet minister, Archbishop Stephen Ondiek’s family cemetery after the widow of the late politician moved to court seeking an injunction.
Through her lawyers, Ombiro Ogachi advocates, the late minister’s widow, Concelia Ondiek urged the court to bar the mother and son or their agents from interring the late Betty’s remains at Sifuyo in West Ugenya as the deceased was not a family member.
She called on the court to treat the application as urgent as the defendants, together with a section of her family members had made preparations to bury the deceased in Ondiek’s family cemetry.
Issuing the injunction, the PM barred the defendants from burying the deceased at any place or date that has not been approved by the complainant until the matter will be heard and determined.
Ong’ondo further ordered the Officer Commanding Ukwala police station to enforce the order.
The injunction, which was issued on Friday afternoon, threw the burial preparations at Sifuyo village in disarray as a section of the family members left.
Among those caught in the confusion is a team of caterers who had been hired to feed the mourners, as well as undertakers who had already prepared a grave.
The deceased, daughter to a late renowned businessman, Otis Kojwang’ died three weeks ago and the family has been locked in dispute over where she should be buried given that she had allegedly cohabited with several men after abandoning her first marriage.
Her mother and brother wanted her buried at Archbishop Ondiek’s family cemetery, claiming that she was married to one of the former Ugenya member of parliament’s son who is based in United States of America.
However, some family members are opposed to this, arguing that they were just friends with the late politician’s son and that the deceased should be buried at the home of her first husband, with whom she has two sons and paid dowry as per the Luo customs.
By Philip Onyango