Church wants family to bury Luo Council of Elders chairman as a Christian

He was speaking to Kisumu residents who turned up in their numbers at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga sports ground for public viewing of Otondi's body.

The elder died at 98 years of age at the Avenue Hospital in Kisumu on Friday, February 17. He had been in and out of hospital, spending most of his treatment days at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital in Kisumu.

According to the funeral program, Ker Otondi will undergo the Luo cultural celebration for the dead, referred to as 'Tero buru'.

Tero buru celebration is done with bell symbols hanging around the necks of bulls. Mourners celebrate and dance from the elder's home to a nearby centre, where a hen is slaughtered and fried on an open fire without cutting it into pieces, and then people eat it. 'Tero buru' is often done with the brothers of the deceased.

Yesterday, family members of the late Ker Otondi, including his wife Lilian Opiyo, described him as a wise man. Mrs Opiyo said her husband was a man of his word.

"He travelled all over the Luo community uniting them. He also united Luos with other communities. He loved peace, so let us ensure his burial is peaceful," she said.

It remains to be seen if a faction of elders who opposed his leadership as the chairman of the Luo Council of Elders will attend his burial after they claimed he would not be accorded cultural rights associated with the position.