The eldest son of the late top police officer, Timothy Mwandi Muumbo, now says he is ready to agree to the burial of his father as long as his rival siblings begin to respect and listen to him. Mwinzi Muumbo holds the key to the burial of the octogenarian who has been lying at Lee Funeral Home since 2015 when he died.
On August 6, 2018, Justice M Muigai of the High Court’s family division gave Mwinzi special responsibility of leading his quarrelsome family in burying their father in Nzatani, Mwingi, Kitui County, following a three-year dispute over the venue of his burial.
Mwinzi, alongside the children of Muumbo’s second wife, wanted him buried in Mbakani as per his own wishes. However, Mwinzi’s siblings from the first wife – Johnstone Kassim Mwandi, Alex Munyasia Muumbo and Carolyn Kalunde Muumbo – insisted he had to be interred in Nzatani.
“The 1st born child of the deceased Mwinzi Muumbo, according to Akamba Customary Law, shall lead all the children of Timothy Mwandi Muumbo with patience, inclusivity and consensus and they, with respect to their eldest brother and now head of Muumbo family, to remove the body of the deceased, facilitate settlement of the outstanding mortuary fees with family, clan, well-wishers, and identify the place where the deceased shall be buried in Mwingi/Nzeluni/318,” the judge ruled.
She also said Mwinzi shall work “jointly and closely” with his brothers Kassim, Munyasia and Billy Mbuvi. The team would also include a clan member, Alphonce Mutwayo Musyimi and their uncle Wilfred Mwinzi Mbuvi.
“All Muumbo family shall/may participate and attend the funeral.”
Harping onto these provisions, Mwinzi stopped last weekend’s burial, saying he neither led them to Lee nor was he involved in the planning. He said he had long conceded on burying his father in Nzatani but that he must be involved in accordance with the court ruling.
“I will allow my father to be buried when we have all agreed on it. They should listen to what I am telling them since I am their elder brother, not the other way round. They should not dictate what I should do,” he told The Standard.
He said they ought to plan the burial together, including the collection of the body. He said there is no point in making their dad to stay in the mortuary any longer, but complained the other side had caused it. “They have destroyed my father’s reputation with lies,” said Mwinzi.
He also claimed that the other side never wants to see him but he would give it another shot. “I want to try and reach out to them again and see if they will respond. We have to all agree on the date. I can’t decide it on my own, as long as we agree and do things the right way, and they should be respectful about it,” he said.
Mwinzi’s lawyer Ann Githogori said his three siblings from the first wife had long abandoned their father by the time he died, and lost the absolute right to bury him. They had also taken him to court and accused him of spiting them with intent of destroying them.
In turn, according to court documents, their father said they stood “cursed in the eyes of this world effective the date of this communication... you are no longer my children and I have rejected you and barred you both in total to enter or occupy any of my property, including any business premises and farms anywhere in Kenya Republic”.
The three siblings have however contested all this, and denied the allegations. In the burial flyer that was prepared for last week’s event, Kassim, Munyasia, Caroline and three other siblings from the first family wrote that they were proud of their father.