Raila dismisses claims that he called for cremation of the dead

By Vincent Kejitan | Thursday, May 28th 2020 at 09:43
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ODM Party leader Raila Odinga has dismissed claims that he asked his community to cremate the dead as reported by The Star Newspaper.

Through a statement seen by Ureport, Odinga said that he called on Kenyans to avoid burials as the country fights the spread of Coronavirus.

“I wish to clarify that in my interview with Kameme TV and Milele FM I did not ask the Luo or any other Kenyan and African community to cremate the dead as reported by The Star Newspaper.

“Instead, I called on Kenyans to embrace speedy burials and avoid elaborate and crowded burial ceremonies at this time of COVID-19,” said Odinga.

He added that cremation has never been part of the culture of most African communities and must not be imposed on them.

Further, Odinga hit out at the newspaper over what he termed as ‘sensational misreporting’, saying talk that he was to head an economic recovery team were baseless.

The newspaper had quoted the ODM leader speaking about the death of his mother while in detention, narrating how he visited the graveside four years later.

“My mother died while I was in detention and I visited the graveside four years later upon release. Don’t go to funerals that are not a must," such as those for people not related to you.

“We must stop this cultural belief that a dead person must be ferried and buried upcountry. They can be buried in cemeteries in urban areas where they died,” he was quoted.

In recent weeks, the Ministry of Health has cautioned Kenyans over breaking social distancing rules during burials and CS Health Kagwe last week mentioned how mourners travelled from Kibra to Siaya and later tested positive for Coronavirus.

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