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Why serial killer Masten Wanjala could be buried at a river bank

By Micah Sali | October 25th 2021

Masten Wanjala was lynched in Bungoma County. [Courtesy]

Elders from the family of self-confessed child serial killer Masten Milimu Wanjala want his body buried near a river bank.

According to Isaac Misiko, a relative of Wanjala, the body must be buried in the dead of night in accordance with the traditions and norms of the Bukusu clan.

Misiko said rituals must be performed before and after Wanjala’s burial in order to exorcise evil spirits that may haunt the family in future. “Someone will go to the home and engage the deceased in a "conversation" and splash concoctions meant to cleanse the home and family members,” he said.

Whoever performs the rituals will be gifted with a bull and will have to walk without looking back when leaving the compound, according to Misiko.

Wanjala was lynched in Bungoma County about two weeks ago after he was reported to have escaped from police custody in Nairobi. 

The elderly man said the Bukusu believed burying someone near the river would see the dead person’s bad deeds and memories about him washed down the stream. 

“Wanjala’s body cannot be buried in his father’s home because he killed innocent souls. Such people are buried near rivers because family and the clan want to forget everything about them,” he said.

Masten Wanjala's father, Robert Watila, apologised to families of his son's victims. [Micah Sali, Standard]

Robert Watila, the father to Wanjala, was yesterday reluctant to speak to The Standard about the burial arrangements.

Last Wednesday, Watila claimed the family was kept in the dark over postmortem examination performed on the same day at Bungoma Referral Hospital mortuary.

Two pathologists, together with the homicide investigators, did not address journalists and left without divulging details of the postmortem. Wanjala’s family members were missing. They do not know when they will be allowed to bury him.

Watila earlier apologised to families of his son's victims and said he would wish to bury him and put the matter to rest. Bungoma County Police Commander Mutungi Musyoki yesterday said it was not clear when the body would be released to the family. 

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