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MMS disposes of 119 unclaimed bodies in city mortuaries

By Peter Theuri | March 27th 2021

Boda boda rider arriving at the Kakamega county hospital mortuary with a coffin. [Benjamin Sakwa, Standard]

At least 119 unclaimed bodies have been disposed of by the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS).

The bodies were disposed of between March 17 and March 24 to ease strain on city morgues.

In a notice that appeared in local dailies just over a week ago, NMS announced that at least 105 unclaimed bodies were in City Mortuary.

Among the unclaimed bodies is that of a man who was shot in Kamukunji. The body has been lying in the morgue since March 19, 2020.

Mama Lucy Hospital Funeral Home had 11 unclaimed bodies. All of them are labelled ‘adult’ with ages of some casualties even identified.

And Mbagathi Hospital Funeral Home has three unclaimed bodies.

“Pursuant to Public Health Act Cap 242, interested members of the public are asked to identify and collect the named bodies within seven days, failure to which the Nairobi Metropolitan Services will seek authority for disposal,” read the notice.

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Nairobi has experienced rampant cases of killings in the recent past, with some people just vanishing only for dead victims to be found in city mortuaries.

There were 11 cases of drowning out of the 105 unclaimed bodies in City Mortuary.

From past reports, most of the cases involve victims being killed elsewhere before being dumped in rivers or uncovered quarries filled with water.

Four of the casualties at City Mortuary committed suicide. They were all male.

There were four cases of shooting, again all male. 

Ninety of unclaimed bodies the City Mortuary were male.

Five of the 11 bodies at the Mama Lucy Hospital Funeral Home were female.

Raphael Musau, a fingerprint and scene of crime management expert and the managing director of Hawk Eye, a private investigations company, recently told The Saturday Standard that the failure to identify bodies was due to laxity of the police.

“The first thing that the police should do after collecting a body is to identify the fingerprints. It is a shame that we should have so many bodies lying in the mortuaries unidentified,” he said.

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