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Court answers pastor’s prayer, orders woman’s body exhumed

By By MURIMI MWANGI | November 28th 2013 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

By MURIMI MWANGI

An Othaya-based pastor has convinced a Nyeri court to order the body of a woman buried on a piece of land whose ownership he is contesting, dug up.

James Kihara, an evangelical pastor from Nyeri, had been entangled in a land dispute with the late Esther Wambui. The latter filed a suit on January 16, 2012, over the ownership of the 0.75 acres, which her elder brother allegedly sold to the pastor.

In the suit, Wambui claimed her brother did not have the capacity to sell the land as he had been mentally ill since 1972. Wambui died on October 4, 2013 while receiving treatment at Mathari Mission Hospital in Nyeri.

Her body lay in the hospital’s mortuary for a month before her husband Peter Njagi, collected it and secretly buried it in the disputed land on November 7, 2013.

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Lawyer Kebuka Wachira, who made the application for exhumation on behalf of the pastor, told the court that Njagi secretly buried his wife’s body in the wee hours of the morning.

He asked the court to order the exhumation, and have Njagi enjoined in the case as an interested party.

“The main application is for the exhumation to be heard as a matter of urgency because the body may decompose and it may become impossible to remove it,” said Wachira, on November 11.

Consequently, the court summoned Njagi to court to testify as an interested party, but according to court records he did not honour the summons when the matter came up for hearing.

Njagi had, after his wife’s death in October, appeared in the media, disowning her corpse over what he said was a curse running down the lineage of his mother-in-law.

He claimed that his wife had inherited a land curse from her late mother, who at her death allegedly left a curse after the title deed of the suit land mysteriously went missing.

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