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February 22, 2018

Family returns body to morgue over land feud

Relatives display the photo of Edward Mwambui in Kashani, Mombasa, on Saturday / BRIAN OTIENO
Relatives display the photo of Edward Mwambui in Kashani, Mombasa, on Saturday / BRIAN OTIENO

 

A family was forced to return the body of a loved one to the Coast General Hospital morgue at the weekend over a land feud.

The family was supposed to rest the body of former Kenya Ports Authority employee Edward Mwambui on Saturday.

Relatives had travelled from as far as Kisumu to come and pay their last respects.

Instead, the family had to go through the agony of returning his body to the Coast General Hospital morgue on the day it was to be interred.

A woman, Josephine Tole, on Friday evening appeared with a court order barring the burial on a 50 by 100 land in Kashani, Mombasa.

As soon as had the body of Mwambui, 43, arrived on Friday evening two uniformed police officers appeared armed with the court order.

This was barely 20 minutes after the arrival of the body for an overnight stay.

Tole and Mwambui reportedly had an unsettled business transaction over the land the burial was to take place.

According to Tole, the grave where Mwambui’s body was to be interred was dug on a portion of land that was not included in the transaction. She said that section is hers.

The officers warned the family not to hold the burial until the case is settled.

The case will come up on February 15.

Josephine Hongo, Mwambui’s elder sister, said they were taken by surprise over the matter.

“We did not know there was a trespass matter in court,” she said.

Hongo said Mwambui had bought the land with an unfinished house on it at a cost of Sh1.7 million.

“He had paid Sh1 million and was to pay the rest after the transfer of all the necessary documents,” she said.

Their elderly mother, Prisca Chao, said she has been traumatised by the experience and wants her son to be laid to rest.

“I have never seen a body brought from the morgue for burial and then returned to the morgue,” she said.

Pastor Philip Mgandi of Jesus Power Church, who was to preside over the burial ceremony, said the family is struggling to feed the guests.

“If there is a case, let them solve it after the burial. Let the grieving family get closure first. That is my request,” he said.

Mwambui died on Monday, leaving behind a wife and four children.

 

 

 

 

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