Tension rocked a burial ceremony of a suspected mungiki sect member in Maragua town, Murang’a county which lasted for barely 10 minutes.
Police officers were deployed at the scene to ensure the event of laying to rest the remains of Mwangi wa Njoki did not take much time.
Inspection was done to all vehicles entering Maragua town at the time in an effort to nab members of the outlawed sect who may have wanted to attended the burial.
The deceased worked as a grocery vendor at Maragua town and he passed on four days ago.
Prayers were only said when the body was lowered to the grave as seats which had been arranged to welcome mourners remained empty.
The Presiding Pastor said he was only given five minutes to conclude the event as locals followed the occasion several metres away.
Area residents criticized security agents for denying them a chance to conduct a proper burial for a man they said they had grown to know and respect.
Peter Murigi, Chairman of Mathare-ini Residents’ Association lamented that the burial was conducted in such haste yet the deceased did not die from Covid-19.
“If they knew he was a member of the gang, why did they not arrest him when he was alive and working in the market for years?” posed Murigi.
He wondered why the claims associating the deceased with dreaded outfit only emerged after he passed away, while observing that Wa Njoki was a church-goer.
The Chairman said the manner in which the burial was conducted left the family traumatized and will forever be edged in their minds.
“They have stigmatized the family and especially the children who may find it hard to go about their normal activities from now,” he lamented, adding that the police should have allowed mourners to bury their beloved respectfully but under their watch.
Also another resident, Brian Njoroge, said the deceased was a respected church leader who was never been incriminated in any illegal activities.
“But when the cortege arrived, they treated his remains with disdain. They restricted attendance to just 15 people, while the burial ceremony was to be done in under 10 minutes,” he grieved, adding that no human being should be treated in such a manner regardless of whether the person was a gang member in his/her lifetime.
Senior security officers present at the ceremony declined to comment about the burial of the 54-year-old father of four.
By Bernard Munyao