Woman’s body in morgue for 4 years as feud rages over burial site

June 8, 2017 3:49 pm
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The body of the late Beatrice Kathumba which is lying at a private funeral home in Machakos town is at the centre of a dispute between the deceased’s family and her step daughters/FILE

, MACHAKOS, Kenya, Jun 8 – A family in Machakos County has been living in agony as the body of one of their kin remains in a morgue for more than four years due to a feud over the burial site.

The body of the late Beatrice Kathumba which is lying at a private funeral home in Machakos town is at the centre of a dispute between the deceased’s family and her step daughters.

Her funeral has aborted three times due to court orders obtained by the step daughters who are opposed to her burial at Mathunya village in Mitaboni, Kathiani sub-county .

Beatrice was married to the late John Kathumba who died in 1989 and they did not bear any children.

Kathumba had also married another wife, Esther Nzola who bore him children but also passed on in 2009.

Before her death, Beatrice lived in Embakasi, Nairobi where jointly with her late husband owned 49 acres of land before her demise at the age of 89 years on July 4, 2014.

A relative of Beatrice, Saifa Mutei has appealed to Machakos Governor Dr Alfred Mutua to intervene and have the matter settled.

“We believe Governor Mutua has the capacity to resolve the matter. We appeal for his help,” said Mutei.

A family friend Dickson Wambua who lived with the late Beatrice as an aide for over 15 years said the dispute has taken a heavy toll on the deceased’s family members.

“This court orders are unnecessary and are a pain to the family,” said Wambua.

He said senior police officers were colluding with individuals behind the court orders to frustrate any burial plans.

“The family has been frustrated many times by senior officers and we also petition the police boss Joseph Boinett to come to our aid,”said Wambua.

He added that the control of the 49 acre piece of land was at the centre of the burial row.

Journalists who visited the her home found that the grave that was dug for the burial was still intact and had been covered using iron sheets.

Wambua says that he gained the trust of the late Beatrice when taking care of her adding that the deceased granted him the special power of attorney to manage her property.

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