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Woman exhumes body of husband in Ol Joro Orok, to bury it in Mavoko

By David Mugunyu | September 9th 2019 at 10:58:27 GMT +0300

People hired to exhume body of Peter Njuguna Murai from Kiharo village in Ol Joroorok sub county in Nyandarua County for reburial in her land in Mavoko carry the body in a body bag to a new casket. [David Mugunyu]

A woman has shocked a village by exhuming the body of her husband from Nyandarua County and transferred it to Machakos County for re-burial.

Esther Wamuyu Gachanja, a teacher at Alliance Girls High School in Kikuyu, exhumed the body of Peter Njuguna Murai from Kiharo village, Gatubero location, Ol Joro Orok sub-county for reburial in her land in Mavoko.

The body was buried in Nyandarua five years ago after he died of natural causes. The deceased was a businessman in Kakamega.

The location chief Lawrence Macharia said parents of the deceased, who live in Kitale, sold off the land where the body was interred and that was the reason the daughter-in-law sought to exhume the body of her late husband.

A village elder, Joseph Kiarie said the teacher and her children cried two months ago when they found that the land had been sold and the tombstone destroyed when they came to lay flowers on the grave to mark the fifth anniversary of Njuguna’s death.

The village elder said he was instrumental in helping the father of the deceased to buy two and a half acres in the area after they had fled political violence in Kakamega in the late 1990s.

Kiarie said Mzee Stephen Murai, who is an Anglican Church elder, later sold the land in piecemeal until the half an acre where his son was buried remained.

“Later, he tried to sell the land with the grave but buyers shied away. So he decided to crush the tombstone and sold of the plot without informing anybody, not even the daughter-in-law,” the village elder said.

When the daughter in law learnt that the half-acre land had been sold off including where her late husband’s grave was, she went to court to seek orders to exhume the body. She obtained the order on August 9, this year.

“Order is hereby issued that body of Peter Njuguna Muari be exhumed from plot number Oljoroorok-Silent 8244 for burial at plot number 17 (one acre) Block MV/33614 belonging to the applicant (Wamuyu)”, reads the order issued by Senior Principal  Magistrate D.N Musyoka of Kikuyu law court.  

In the order, the Magistrate also ordered that the local public health officer be present during the exhumation exercise.

Yesterday the Ol Joroorok sub-county public health officer, Ezekiel Orina supervised the exhumation exercise. The decision to exhume and take the body for burial to where the widow and children live was praised by women who witnessed the exhumation.

Charity Wanjiku challenged young women to learn a lesson from Ms. Wamuyu that love can outlive death.

“We, women of Kiharo village have felt challenged by the action of this lady. She has shown love to his husband goes beyond death,” Wanjiku said.

An assistant village elder, Sarafina Wanjiku recalled how the widow and her children cried when they found the land where their father was buried was no longer theirs.  

Wanjiku said the teacher wondered why the father-in-law did not offer the land to her. She said the widow was willing to pay for the half-acre land to preserve the grave. 

The exhumation attracted many residents. They expressed disappointment with the old man for selling the land instead of bequeathing to the daughter-in-law and the grandchildren. The body was exhumed by a team of workers of an Ol Kalou hearse company.

The diggers took about three hours to reach the body as the soil was wet.

The body, which still had the black suit and tie on, was put in a body bag before being put in a new coffin.

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