In-laws bar man from burying wife over bride price

Ten days ago, George Otieno's heart had settled after he received the body of his wife Judy Adhiambo, having been held in Saudi Arabia since her death on November 27.

Otieno, who had lived with Adhiambo in Kimathi East within Nakuru East sub-county for about 25 years, almost lost hope of burying his wife, as her body was held in the foreign country. He had to wait for over 100 days to get the body.

"I was relieved to receive my wife's body on March 9, this year. Even though she had died, I felt at peace," Otieno told The Sunday Standard.

However, his in-laws have now claimed that Otieno had no right to bury Adhiambo because he did not pay her bride price.

According to Otieno, as soon as Adhiambo's body arrived in Nakuru PNN Funeral Home, his in-laws sidelined him.

He recalled how he had to beg the ministries of Labour and Foreign Affairs to help him, and how The Standard had to publish two stories before any efforts were made for the body to be brought back to Kenya.

Otieno also insisted he had paid bride price. They have four children.

Otieno insists he should be allowed to bury his wife at his ancestral home in Migori as per the Luo customs.

He called his in-laws out for using him to get Adhiambo's body back only to turn against him.

"My in-laws who mourned with me for months, now claim I had chased them away from my rental house before my wife left for Saudi Arabia," he said.

Otieno said he had fulfilled all the Luo customs pertaining to marriage and he had already made plans to ferry the body, on March 10, for burial. However, his wife's family has made it difficult.

He is worried that his children will be sucked into the wrangles and will continue suffering if the matter is not resolved.

Adhiambo's mother, Peris Aloo who lives in Kivumbini estate, has a different story. She claims Otieno never paid Adhiambo's bride price.

She said the couple had even separated before Adhiambo left for Saudi Arabia in June last year.

"He has disrespected my family by refusing to pay bride price and I cannot allow him to bury my daughter."

She insisted that Adhiambo will be buried on their family land in Gem, Siaya County, and Otieno will not be included in the burial plans.

According to Aloo, Otieno, who claims to be her son-in-law, did not attend the burial of Adhiambo's father.

She noted that her daughter left Otieno before moving to Saudi Arabia in search of greener pastures. She wanted to look for money to take their second-born son to university after Otieno failed to do so, said Aloo.

Otieno last called Adhiambo a day before she died and she promised she would arrive in Kenya the following day.