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Three bodies unclaimed at Voi hospital mortuary

By Renson Mlegwa Mnyamwezi | February 23rd 2015 at 12:22:11 GMT +0300

Voi, Kenya: Three unidentified and unclaimed bodies are still lying at the Voi Sub-County hospital in Taita-Taveta County.

Police and health authorities said the bodies had been preserved at the morgue from December last year to date.

According to the County Police Commander Richard Bitonga, one of the bodies was found at Man Eaters.

He said one of the bodies claimed to be that of Meshack Yebei who is said to be a defense witness in the case against Deputy President William Ruto at the International Criminal Court (ICC), is among those lying at the mortuary.

The police officer said two other naked bodies were found dumped near Taita Hills Salt Lick in the Tsavo West National Park. One of the bodies was later identified and handed over to the relatives for burial last year.

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The third body is that of a suspected poacher who was gunned down by the Kenya Wildlife Service personnel at Choke Ranch in Mwatate Sub-County district early this month.

"As far as we are concerned no family has come to identify the bodies lying at the mortuary," the police officer insisted.

In an interview, Mr Bitonga said Yebei's relatives who visited the Voi mortuary are yet to claim the body that was found at Man Eaters area, near Tsavo East National Park.

"We have just heard that Yebei's family came with human rights activists at the Voi mortuary last week but they have not come to the police to claim the body that is still lying at the mortuary," said the police officer.

"We are still waiting for families that might have lost relatives to come to the police to help in identifying the bodies at the mortuary. We suspect some of the bodies could be of criminals," he said.

Bitonga said they were still waiting for the finger print results taken to Nairobi for analysis.

Voi Hospital Medical Superintendent Abel Mwenja said some of the bodies had been disposed off following a court order.

"Unidentified and unclaimed bodies are supposed to be preserved in the mortuary for three months. The preservation period can however be extended," he said.

Dr Mwenja confirmed that relatives of Yebei visited the mortuary last week and told authorities that they were 70 percent sure the body was that of their kin.

"The relatives promised us to come back and we are still waiting for them," he said.

Voi Deputy County Commissioner Khamasi Shivogo said a DNA test has to be carried out first before the bodies are released to the relatives. "If the bodies are properly identified, relatives will be allowed to collect them," he said.

Mr Shivogo at the same time denied claims by human rights activists from Eldoret that the government could interfere with investigations on Yebei's matter.

"We are calling on Kenyans who have lost relatives to come forward and help police and health authorities in identifying the unclaimed bodies at the morgue," said the commissioner.

The reports that Yebei's body has been lying in Voi mortuary since December last year had caused anxiety among Kenyans.

Yebei is the man whose disappearance has been surrounded by intrigues, claims and accusations, especially after a body that had been claimed to be his was found to be another man's.

Voi hospital Taveta-Taveta Bodies
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