Court to rule whether mortuary attendant aided family to steal corpse

The Malindi law court.The court has detained the prime suspect in the murder of German national Detering Hermann for 14 more days to allow prosecution finalize investigations PHOTO FILE

A Malindi court is set to make a ruling next week on whether a hospital mortuary administrator aided a man to steal a body at the mortuary.

The family of Prisca Gona had moved to court seeking  to have the body of her son exhumed until a case that was filed in court in March is heard and determined.

Together with her two brothers John Kalama and George Gona, the family  wants Malindi Senior Principal Magistrate Silvia Wewa to issue orders to have the body exhumed and issue a warrant of arrest against the administrator of Star hospital mortuary in Malindi where the body was allegedly stolen before being buried at Kwa Ndomo area despite a court injunction.

Raphael Gona, 32 years passed away in January this year but a family row pitting the father and the mother saw the body stay at the morgue for five months.

In a letter written to the Star hospital mortuary by the defendant’s lawyer on 2nd May 2019, the hospital management had been ordered to keep the body until the case in court was finalized.

“Our clients who are defendants in the above matter have informed us that the family of the plaintiffs are arranging for burial of the deceased which is being preserved at your establishment. The text messages indicate that the burial is slated on 12th May 2019,” stated the letter drafted by Kilonzo and Aziz company advocates dated 2nd May, 2019.

They cautioned the management against releasing the body of the deceased since the matter was still in court.

Note that this matter has not been finalized  in court as there are stay orders from the court restraining any party from removing the body of the said deceased from the mortuary pending the hearing and determination of an appeal filed by our clients at the Malindi high court,” the letter stated.

The family is however accusing the father of the deceased Timothy Mwangoma of disobeying the restraining orders hence secretly removing the body from the mortuary and burying it.

“It was contempt of court for Dr. Ahmed Nurein and respondents to go against the spirit of the court ruling. We seek the body be exhumed and returned to the mortuary until the appeal is heard and determined,” said advocate Maurice Kilonzo for the appellants.

Prisca’s family are arguing that Mwambogo could not bury the son since he never raised him and that he was never married to him under any law.

They further claimed that according to Giriama traditions, a man is considered as having married and being a father of  his children once he has paid dowry and palm wine to his inlaws.

Mwambogo moved to court in March seeking an injunction restraining Prisca Gona from burying Raphael at her father’s home in Matsangoni village in Kilifi North Sub County and be allowed to bury him at his farm.

Prisca and her brothers contested the ruling and appealed and Wewa’s orders were to be stayed until the hearing of their case slated for 12th June, 2019.

“Pending the hearing and determination of this application there be a stay of execution of the judgment and decree made by this honorable court on March 7th2019,” ruled Malindi high court deputy registrar D. Wasike.

The matter was adjourned to 3/6/ 2019 when the court will make a ruling.