111 bodies at city morgue during violence

July 24, 2008 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, July 24 – Documents tabled on Thursday at the inquiry into post election violence show that the City Mortuary was forced to handle more than three times its normal capacity of bodies.

The mortuary’s Officer-In-charge Dr Nguku Mulwa told the Justice Philip Waki-led Commission of Inquiry that they received 797 bodies between December 1, 2007 and February 29, 2008.

Dr Mulwa who testified before the Commission on Thursday, said the number included 111 corpses which were delivered by the police.

"They were clearly labelled victims of post election violence," he said.

"My Lords, the mortuary was full to capacity but we did not stop receiving bodies. We had a burden of more than we could deal with," he said.

He told the Commission that bodies taken to City Mortuary by the police bore gun shot wounds, burns or deep cuts.

Dr Mulwa said the mortuary has the capacity to preserve 250 bodies but that it usually handles more corpses.

City Mortuary is the only such public facility in Nairobi.

He said most of the bodies taken to the morgue had been identified and claimed by relatives.

Others were yet to be claimed, but no records were provided to show the exact number of the unclaimed bodies.

He tabled mortuary registers which showed dates and other particulars including names of the bodies that were preserved there during the electioneering period.

In many occasions, the police have been accused of killing people and dumping their bodies at the mortuary.

Human rights activists who testified at the commission two weeks ago accused police of having used excessive force in suppressing the violence, including extra-judicial killings.

Police Commissioner Major General Mohamed Hussein Ali who was the first witness to testify at the public inquiry denied that his officers had violated the law in quelling the violence.



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