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Okoth family ditches plan to bury banana trunk after MP’s cremation

By James Omoro | August 5th 2019
ODM National chairman John Mbadi and Kabondo Kasipul MP Eve Obara console the late Kibra MP Ken Okoth’s mother Angelina Ajwang' at her home in Kabondo Kasipul Constituency on August 5, 2019. [James Omoro, Standard]

Family of the late Kibra MP Ken Okoth has shelved earlier plans to bury a banana trunk in honour of their son.

The revelations, made by ODM National Chairman John Mbadi, who also chaired a select committee on Okoth’s send-off, has left residents of Ogenga village in Kabondo Kasipul Constituency with a sour mouth.

Okoth’s kith and kin had expected the family to bury a banana trunk as a cleansing ritual after their son was cremated in Nairobi, hundreds of kilometres away from his ancestral land.

According to Mbadi, the immediate family had resolved not to go ahead with the ritual common among the Luo community.

The announcement came just days after Luo Council of Elders led by chairman Nyandiko Ongadi directed the family to fulfill Luo rituals to honour Okoth’s death.

The ritual included building a house for Monica in the village, something that would set the ground for her to be inherited by one of the brothers-in-law.

Mbadi said the family would instead undertake a prayer service to honour the late legislature who was cremated at the Kariokor crematorium in Nairobi on August 3.

“We have held an indoor meeting with Okoth's family members and agreed that nothing will be buried in this home,” said Mbadi who visited Okoth’s kin accompanied by Okoth's mother Angelina Ajwang' and area MP Eve Obara.

Mbadi also said they had prevailed upon the family to bury their differences which resulted following the cremation of the Kibra MP.

Ajwang’ and some of her children wanted Okoth’s body buried in the village, while Okoth’s wife, Monica, and some family members supported the cremation. This set the ground for a protracted fight.

The Suba South MP has since called on Nyanza leaders to give the family time for healing, besides asking the community to embrace change.

“As a community, we must accept transformation to shun conflicts like this one in the event a family decides to cremate their loved ones,” Mbadi said.

Prayer service

On her part, area MP Eve Obara said she will help the family to organise a prayer service in memory of Okoth’s demise.

“What has happened to this family is painful. They need time to heal. Let us leave everything to God because he is the creator,” she said.

Ajwang’ however declined to speak or take questions from journalists.

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