, KISUMU, Kenya, Apr 9 – The High Court in Kisumu has brought to an end the protracted legal tussle pitting two parties over the burial site of the late Rachuonyo North District Commissioner Veronica Wambi.
Justice Abida Ali Aroni ruled that the late administrator who died in a road accident should be buried in Kakamega, as she wished, and in accordance with Catholic rites.
Ms Aroni in her one-and-half hour judgment decreed that the late Wambi’s father in law Samson Anindo did not deserve to bury her in Kamagambo, Rongo.
Ms Wambi’s brother Charles Onyango and her adopted son moved to court to stop her in-laws from burying her as decided by a panel of arbitrators who had ruled that she should be buried in Rongo.
The arbitration was presided over by Olago Aluoch, the Kisumu Town West MP, David Otieno and Beutah Siganga.
Not satisfied with the verdict, Mr Onyango contested it in the High Court and listed Mr Anindo as the defendant.
But Ms Aroni noted in the judgment that the late Wambi had been separated from her husband for 12 years prior to her death.
She said the in-laws often used derogatory statements against the deceased.
The Judge said one such instance was in the year 2005 during the burial of the administrator’s son where she collapsed.
The judge said Ms Wambi was admitted to hospital but her in-laws never bothered to visit her.
Justice Aroni said the late Wambi’s husband was taken away from her in 1997 by his family after he suffered an accident and that the in-laws blamed her for the medical condition of her two children who have since died.
Justice Aroni ruled that Ms Wambi had wished to be buried in Kakamega and the court relied on video clips which were produced in court by a freelance journalist William Odero who covered her thanksgiving party upon appointment as a district commissioner.
The late Ms Wambi was captured in the video saying she should be buried in Kakamega upon her death and not Kamagambo.
The judge also depended on other testimonies from Ms Wambi’s friends and associates.
Justice Aroni said the late Ms Wambi’s house help Caroline Kanila told the court that the late DC even chose a site under a tree where she should be buried.
The defendant’s lawyer Cleveland Ayayo immediately applied for a stay of execution pending an appeal.
But the judge declined to give the orders saying the required standards were yet to be met.
Justice Aroni said both sides would meet mortuary and the funeral costs.