Kin defy patriarch, exhume woman’s body for reburial

Residents of Manyani Estate in Nakuru load the casket bearing the remains of Ezna Mbone who was buried on March 18 at Nakuru South Cemetery. [Harun Wathari/Standard]
The body of a woman who was buried a month ago at the Nakuru South cemetery was exhumed yesterday, following a family dispute.

Ezna Mbone’s firstborn daughter, Zipporah Khayumbi, obtained a court order to exhume the body for reburial.

Khayumbi said her mother succumbed to chest complications on March 11.

“She fell sick for a few days and died on March 11. My father did not have land on which we could bury her. As her children, we felt it wasn’t right to bury her in a public cemetery and we sought the help of our uncles,” said Ms Khayumbi.

One of their uncles, who lives in Kitale, agreed to allocate them space on his land for burial.

Khayumbi’s father Paul Muhati, however, is said to have turned down the offer by his brother and insisted that he would bury his wife at the cemetery.

This, however, did not go down well with his children who maintained that their mother’s wish was to be buried in Trans Nzoia.

Khayumbi said that before her mother’s death, the siblings were in the process of acquiring land in Kiminini where the family that has been living in Manyani Estate in Nakuru would relocate.

“When she fell sick, our mother said that her wish was to be buried in our rural home. We pooled funds and agreed to buy land where the family would move to but she died before we completed the process,” she said.

Court process

After the death, their father is said to have organised his wife’s burial with the assistance of their two daughters living in Nakuru.

“The burial was held on March 18. Very few relatives attended. Most of us were not happy with the decision and didn’t attend the funeral. We wanted her to be buried where she wanted,” said Khayumbi.

This was despite the seller of the land in Kiminini having agreed to have the body buried on the parcel.

With the assistance of her maternal relatives, Khayumbi went to court and was allowed to have her mother laid to rest at a place of their choice.

Immediately after the issuance of the orders, Khayumbi and a number of relatives headed to the cemetery to exhume the body. They were joined by local youths.

The residents then carried the casket bearing the remains of Mbone, 69, shoulder-high to her home 200m away.

Hundreds of residents trooped in to view the body. The family held prayers at the home as Muhati watched from a distance.

Last wish

The body was then loaded onto a matatu to be transported to Kiminini in Trans Nzoia County.

“I am contented now that I will honour my mother’s last wish. It would have been very disrespectful for us to let her body lie in a public cemetery when we have land. We hope our father will understand,” she said.

Their father, however, declined to speak to the Press.

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Woman's body ExhumedZipporah Khayumbi