Drama at Lamu funeral as mourners clash over burial site

Burial:Relatives of the deceased whisk away the body.Photo/Natasha Nema

Lamu, KENYA: There was drama at a funeral in Baharini area in Mpeketoni, Lamu West, after mourners clashed on where the deceased should be buried.

Mourners were left with mouths agape when the body of 18 year old, Damaris Kanini, was whisked back to the Mpeketoni hospital mortuary, after her parents differed with her in-laws on where she should be buried because of dowry payment.

Kanini had been married for less than 8 months before she died after a short illness.

Her parents wanted her buried at her birth home and not at her husband’s home since the man had not paid her dowry.

Moses Kinuthia, the father-in-law of the deceased said the initial plan was that the late be interred at her husband’s place, but a turn of events seconds before the burial saw the arrangement change.

“I had met her parents and we talked like grown-ups and agreed that she would be buried at her husband’s home. We were however shocked when we were making the final procession for burial when my in-laws stormed the burial site with an injunction and took away the body. We have tried resolving the matter at the Deputy County Commissioner’s office to no avail. We shall wait and see what next,” said Kinuthia.

Enraged mourners were forced to cover up the empty grave while cursing and throwing insults at the lady’s family for what they felt was an unnecessary drama and turn of events.

Emmmanuel Wanyoike,a local leader urged families to learn to resolve issues amicably and making shameful and drastic steps that cause unrest in the community.

“We came here to bury her and the grave was already dug. Its unfortunate that things could turn out this way and that’s why people have covered up the grave. It is a bad omen for us to leave an open grave in a compound where people still reside, it’s a recipe for another death,” said Samuel Kimani.