Chinese contractor forces family to exhume body of deceased relative

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Elisha Khamuka and his wife Loice Khamuka at the graveside of their daughter whose body was exhumed for being on a road reserve – Photo/Gabriel Juma/County Guardian News

 

 

By Gabriel Juma

A family in Shimalabandu in Lurambi Sub County was forced to exhume the body of their relative buried two years to pave way for road construction along the Kakamega – Webuye road.

The family was given three days’ notice to have the body exhumed and be interred to another place.

According to Elisha Khamuka and a relative to the deceased, the family was told to exhume the body by the Chinese contractor working on the road and have it buried elsewhere and bury it elsewhere or they throw it away.

“We were told where we buried Ms Christabel Chimoti was on road reserve and that it had to be moved,” said Khamuka.

Mr Khamuka said the notice was so urgent that it forced them to sell their valuables so that they can hire people to exhume the body.

“We were just in the house carrying out normal activities; suddenly we received reports from children that an excavator had reached the grave and that some parts of the coffin were visible,” he said.

He added: “When we rushed to the scene to check, we realized that the contractor had extended to measurements of the road up to our land. He claimed that the grave was on government land,”

Ms Loice Khamuka on her part said that it was against the Luhya traditions to exhume the body of a dead person and have the remains interred elsewhere.

She said for that to happen, elders have to be called to perform rituals so as to ensure that bad omen does not befall the family, adding that the process is horrifying and mentally disturbing.

Ms Khamuka said the elders have to be paid handsomely in a bid to perform the rituals including the men who are hired to exhume the body.

 

Mr. Patrick Khamuka, husband to the late Chimoti, who works in Eldoret as a truck driver, had to travel from Eldoret to Kakamega to have the remains of his late wife reburied in his presence.

“We hired men from Masingo slums in Kakamega town who demanded Sh25, 000 but we settled for Sh15, 000 after negotiations and helped in the exhumation of the remains of my wife,” he said.

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