By Job Weru
A letter from acting PS in charge of Provincial Administration and Internal Security Mutea Iringo instructed Mathira West DC Mohammed Galgalo to “study the letter and take necessary action and provide feedback in two weeks”.
The letter, signed by F A Mohammed on behalf of Iringo noted that the female chief was reluctant to assist villagers inter the body of Joseph Ndururi, who died more than three months ago, at his plot in Iruri village.
According to Nyeri County Residents Association officials (Ndira), Ndururi died on March 10 while undergoing treatment at Tumutumu Mission Hospital in Mathira.
“The burial was planned for March 27. But he was not buried because the chief failed to write a letter to the hospital confirming the deceased has no relatives who could pay his hospital bills. She was extremely hostile to the burial arrangement committee,” read the letter in part.
Ndira chairman Fredrick Murage stated in the letter that the administrator claimed that Ndururi had relatives, hence leading the hospital to withhold the body. “She deliberately misled and misadvised the hospital that the deceased has relatives who could pay a bill of Sh40,000 as at March 26,” he said.
The burial committee, which comprises squatters at Iruri village raised Sh10,000, which they paid the hospital. “They also managed to negotiate a waiver of the Sh30,000 balance. But the body has been lying in the mortuary since then,” he said. Mr Richard Muriuki, a member of the burial committee, observed that villagers had also purchased a coffin, but were forced to keep it in Ndururi’s house.
He said Ndururi’s mother, brother and sister have since died and were buried in Iruri. “He does not have any other kin that is why we were urging the hospital to hand over the body to us to inter it,” said Muriuki.
He continued: “It is unethical and un-African to keep a body of a human being for all those days. The Government should be in the forefront to facilitate the burial. We demand action against the administrator since she refused to listen to our advice while she has not produced the alleged relatives to date.”