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Family Seeks Exhumation Order After Bodies Switch at a Bungoma Morgue

A mix up and misidentification of bodies at a mortuary in Bungoma recently saw relatives mistakenly bury a body that belonged to another family.

Panic and shock has now gripped the family of the late Mary Nasimiyu of Nakalila trading center in Kimilili Sub County of Bungoma County after they found out that her body had been mistakenly buried by a different family last week at Ndakaru in Bungoma West Sub County.

The family of the late Nasimiyu has moved to court to seek orders of disinterment of the body so that it could be reburied at the family plot at Nakalila.

The body had been preserved together with that of the late Grace Nakhumicha Wekesa at Dreamland hospital.

Grace’s son then transferred her body to Lugulu hospital mortuary but, it turned out it was that of Nasimiyu.

The body of the late Nasimiyu was then moved to Ndakaru and buried last Friday unbeknown to her real family.

On Monday when the family members went to collect her body from Dreamland hospital mortuary at Kimilili, they were shocked to discover that it was missing and instead they were shown a different body, that of Grace

Upon investigations, it was discovered that the body had been taken to Lugulu mortuary by another family before it was transported to Ndakaru in Bungoma West for burial last Friday,” said Longinus Wekesa the uncle of the deceased.

Wekesa said that he has communicated with the family that mistakenly buried their kin and they have indeed confirmed that they had buried a different person.

“They were very shocked to realize that they had buried a different person after spending close to Sh2 million to cater for funeral expenses,” said Wekesa.

Ruth Nabiranda, the administrator of Dreamland hospital confirmed that there were two bodies of two women preserved in the hospital’s mortuary on Monday last week.

She said that the next of kin, the son of the late Grace, applied for discharge of the body to Lugulu hospital but in the process, because he was in a hurry identified a different body.

“The next of kin discharged the body on Monday last week but because he was in haste he identified a different body and that’s how this confusion occurred,” Nabiranda added.

The Deputy County Commissioner for Bungoma West Sub County Daniel Kurui confirmed the incident and said police were waiting for the family to obtain a court order so that they could exhume the body.

“It is unfortunate that the son took a different body because the two women were almost identical but we are going to exhume the bodies once the two families obtain court orders,” Kirui said.

The body of Grace, mother to Everlyne Alusa, the Director of Education at the County government of Bungoma, is still at Dreamland mortuary.

The funeral service that was held last Friday was attended by Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka, Bungoma Governor Wycliffe Wangamati, Sirisia MP John Waluke and the Deputy Speaker of the County Assembly Simiyu Wamusai and other county officials.

A Bukusu elder Joab Butalia said that it was a bad omen for the two families adding that a cleansing ceremony would have to be performed by clan members to appease the ghost of the woman.

“It is sad to learn that a man was involved in the identification of a woman’s body and yet the deceased had sisters and daughters to do that. Without cleansing the homestead, the family will encounter a bad omen for burying a different person,” Butalia said.

By Roseland Lumwamu

 

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