Oti Odima village in Homa Bay was left in shock a fortnight ago, after a family was forced to exhume the body of their kin and organise a second burial.
This was after it was discovered that they had buried the wrong corpse, belonging to a man who shared a name with their kin.
The family of 52-year-old Jacob Osumba, a local carpenter who died about two weeks ago after suffering from unknown disease, mistakenly buried the body of Jacob Opiyo, following a mortuary mix up.
All had been okay, after the family members mobilised friends and relatives to collect the body from Matata Nursing Home mortuary in Oyugis town. They bought a coffin, clothes and other items, which were required in order to give the late a decent send off.
The family also secured a vehicle that would transport the body from the mortuary to their home situated in Oti Odima Village, Oyugis Town Location, Rachuonyo South Sub County.
They started their journey to the mortuary, situated a few kilometres away. On arrival, they began the process of clearing with the hospital by settling the mortuary bills. Upon paying, they went to the morgue to take the body of their loved one.
They took the body, which, besides sharing a name and having been brought at the mortuary on the same day with Opiyo's, was a too swollen in the face for anyone to notice the difference and buried it the following day.
During the burial, family members and friends eulogised Osumba as a man who contributed well to development of the society.
However, the following day, the family got a phone call from the hospital, claiming they had buried a wrong body. According to area Chief Nelson Muma who is also a brother-in-law to Osumba, the family had to leave for the hospital to verify the deceased’s details.
“The family first moved to the hospital to find out truth on details of the body. When we went there, we found that, indeed, we had picked a wrong body,” said Muma.
The family realised that they had picked the body of Opiyo, a resident of Asumbi village in Rangwe Sub County, instead of Osumba’s. “It is true that the names were similar and I think that is how the confusion arose,” he added.
Opiyo’s family agreed with Osumba’s, leading to exhumation before they exchanged the bodies. Osumba's family organised a fresh burial for their kin, complete with elaborate rituals, in accordance to the Luo traditions, to appease his ghost and ancestors.