ODM chairman Mbadi intervenes to prevent wife cleansing, other rituals after Ken Okoth's death

No rituals.

In Summary

•The family of the late Kibra MP Ken Okoth will not bury a banana trunk as per the Luo community cultural and practices

Suba South MP John Mbadi and Kabondo Kasipul MP Eve Obara with the late MP Ken Okoth's mother Angelina Ajwang (in purple) and other family members and relatives Kasewe, Kabondo, on Monday, August 5,2019.
Suba South MP John Mbadi and Kabondo Kasipul MP Eve Obara with the late MP Ken Okoth's mother Angelina Ajwang (in purple) and other family members and relatives Kasewe, Kabondo, on Monday, August 5,2019.
Image: ROBERT OMOLLO

The family of the late Kibra MP Ken Okoth will not bury a banana trunk as per the Luo community cultural and practices.

The family instead resolved  that it will organise a prayer service in due course.  

The community traditions dictate that a banana log is buried at the home in the absence of the body of the deceased.

 

Rituals like wife inheritance, sharing of meals and shaving of hair were also expected to be done.

Earlier, the family had said it was waiting for Angelina Ajwang’, Okoth's mother, to return to her Ogenga village home in Kabondo Kasipul constituency from Nairobi to pave way for the ceremonies.

The trunk would symbolise Okoth’s body in line with culture of the Luo community.

The suggestion came after Okoth’s body was cremated at Kariokor crematorium in Nairobi on Saturday.

But speaking to media on Monday after a closed-door meeting with the family, ODM national chairman John Mbadi and area MP Eve Obara said the family had resolved to avoid any rituals.

Mbadi had also been appointed by Speaker of the National Assembly, Justin Muturi, to chair an ad hoc committee on Okoth’s send off.

Mbadi said the family had agreed to undertake a prayer service instead of the rituals.

He spoke in presence of the family including Okoth’s mother.

“We’ve held a meeting with Angelina and her family members and agreed that nothing will be buried in this home instead of Okoth’s body,” Mbadi said.

The chairman said they also the family also reconciled over differences over the body's disposal.

Some family members wanted burial while others supported cremation.

 “The family members have also agreed to bury the hatchet following differences which occurred after Okoth’s death,” he added.

Mbadi urged the Luo community to stop remarks which may harm the reputation of the family, adding that time had come for people to accept change.

“As a community, we must not discard all our cultural practices but at the same time we should accept transformation especially the decision of a family,” Mbadi said.

The Suba South MP called on Nyanza leaders to give the family time to heal.

“Let leaders stop talking of issues that may taint the image of the family and the community altogether,” he added.

Obara said she will cooperate with the family in arranging a prayer service in memory of Okoth’s demise.

“What has happened to this family is very painful all need is to give it peaceful mind required. Let us leave everything to God because he is the creator,” she said.

Ajwang’ returned home on Sunday evening. Area residents expected the family to bury the banana trunk.

Homa Bay Luo council of elders led by their chairman Nyandiko Ongadi said it is important to for the family to fulfill the rituals concerning Okoth’s death.

The ritual also included building Monica a house in the village and if possible, be inherited by one a brother in-law.