• The mother insisted that her child was a Christian and there was no way they were going to let him be buried under Muslim rites as per the wish of the other family.
• The baby's grandfather said they had no plans to bury the baby secretly, insisting that they also wanted to know the truth behind his death.
There was drama at Embu Level 5 Hospital morgue when two families sharply differed over the burial of a three-year-old boy whose body was retrieved from Rupingazi River after going missing for four days.
Emotions ran high after the maternal and paternal families locked horns over which final burial rites they were to accord the deceased.
A burial dispute erupted after the two families failed to agree on whether to bury the child in accordance with Muslim faith of the baby's father or perform Christian rites as per the mother’s family leaning.
The young couple separated last year and the mother of the deceased child has been living at her ancestral home in Makengi sublocation in Embu North subcounty.
At one point, the dispute escalated and turned physical after both families accidentally met at the mortuary with each not knowing the intention of the other.
The family of the mother to the child alleged that the other family was plotting to collect the body of the child secretly even before the postmortem was done to establish the cause of death. This sparked a crash between the two families outside the morgue.
It took the intervention of onlookers to separate the families as war of words escalated to a physical brawl.
The mother, Purity Mukami, insisted that her child was a Christian and there was no way they were going to let him be buried under Muslim rites as per the wish of the other family.
She also maintained that she wanted a postmortem and investigations launched into the cause of his death as there were missing body parts including private parts.
“I want a postmortem done to establish the cause of death as his body upon retrieval from the river had some missing parts,” she said.
Her mother, Lucy Muthoni, alleged that her in-laws had a hidden agenda to pick the body from the mortuary without their knowledge, saying they will camp at the mortuary every day in need to avert such a move.
The other family, however, insisted their intention of coming to the morgue was to facilitate the autopsy.
The baby's grandfather, Abdul Aziz, said they had no plans to bury the baby secretly, insisting that they also wanted to know the truth behind his death.