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Man dies hours after blocking ex-wife’s burial

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Fresh grave where Wammbui's body was to be laid/MIKE KARIUKI

Fresh grave where Wambui’s body was to be laid and where her children will now plant bananas/MIKE KARIUKI

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 26 – It’s been said that truth is stranger than fiction and advocate Paul Nyamodi couldn’t have agreed more when he heard of the dilemma facing the Mungai children, “it should be made into a movie,” he joked.

Linnet Mungai who finds herself unable to lay both her mother and father to rest because of a land tussle acknowledges that the position her family finds itself in, is rather peculiar.

“I can’t believe it myself,” she told Capital FM News.

In the span of two weeks Linnet lost both her parents amid a tussle over land.

“It started when my father Bernard Mungai Kirumba demolished my mother’s house insisting that since they split up 28 years ago, she should get off his property. He said he wanted to move back home with the wife he left us for as he was sickly,” she explained.

Home, being a one and an eighth acre property in Uthiru on which Wambui and her two children, Linnet and Kirumba Junior, lived.

“A week later, my mom who suffered from High Blood Pressure died from the stress at 55 years of age,” she recalled.

But even dead, Linnet said, her father didn’t want her mother on his land, “On the day of the burial, last Thursday, with her grave ready and people gathered, we received a notice of injunction from our father who insisted that she be buried elsewhere.”

And in what she views as karma, her father passed away the same day, “The following morning we got a report that the very same evening he died of a heart attack at 60.”

But even in death, Mungai’s nephew Muchemi Kirumba insists that his late uncle’s wishes must be respected and that Wambui should not be laid to rest on his property.

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“Uncle Mungai wanted Wambui to come out of his premises. He got an eviction order and it was served to her and the children sometime in December. But she didn’t leave forcing uncle Mungai to evict her last Friday but one. That is when he came with the police and the court order and they effected the eviction to the point where he demolished her house signifying the complete severance of their ties,” he narrated.

And so the Kirumba family remains divided on the way forward with Linnet and Kirumba Junior arguing that as next of kin, their father’s land now belongs to them and they should now be free to lay their mother to rest on it.

Muchemi however counters that his uncle’s wishes were clear, “and like a will,” should be carried out to the letter.

“When the question of where their mother should be buried arose, the father was still alive so the view of the children does not come into play. The children overriding the decision of their father would be taking advantage of the dead,” he argued.

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