By Vincent Mabatuk
It was a solemn moment at the Nakuru Muslim cemetery as a body was exhumed almost a year after burial.
On May 29 2011, Muslim mourners buried the remains of Amin Munara Abukuse. But in January this year (2012), his mother moved to court seeking exhumation orders.
After nearly three months, a Nakuru court gave 58-year-old Jemima Aluso the right to re-bury her son at her husband’s farm at Itumbu sub-location in West Bunyore.
And on Monday, Mrs Aluso sat solemnly a few metres from the gravesite during the rare exercise.
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Mr Ali Omar, the Muslim mortuary assistant, said the Nakuru Chief Kadhi okayed the exhumation but maintained that it was against the Islamic faith.
"For the years this cemetery has existed, we have never come across such a scenario," said Omar.
Aluso, who said she had sold her property to see that her son’s remains were interred according to Luhya culture, shed tears of joy soon after a group of youth removed the body from the grave after 45 minutes of non-stop digging.
"Mtoto wangu pole kwa kukuacha lakini tunaenda nyumbani kwa baba yako", (I apologise for abandoning you my son, but we are now going home to your father), said the mother.
According to her, the deceased fell ill and sought treatment at the Rift Valley Provincial Hospital. He was discharged only to fall sick again. Unfortunately, he died a week later.
Upon her son’s death, Aluso said she pleaded with the Muslims to allow her transport the body to their rural home but was snubbed.
Interestingly, the mother claimed that soon after he was buried, her son appeared in dreams demanding to know why he was not buried like the rest of his kin.
Aluso, who said she had already buried four of her sons, insisted that she would not allow religion to separate her son from his kin.
When the body was retrieved, the white sheet used to wrap it was intact – a fact that shocked everybody except the mother.
"You can see my son was waiting for me to take him home and that is why the body looks like it was buried the other day", she said.
Although Aluso is a Christian, she said she would bury the body according to Muslim rites to avoid going against her son’s faith.