Kenya: land dispute ends funeral of 3 family members killed in road accident
The burials of a man, his wife and their daughter who perished in a road accident on November 1 in Kiambu county did not take place in Murang’a on Wednesday as planned, due to a land conflict.
The bodies were taken on a road trip to the Anglican Church in Gakurwe, where a mass was held before being returned to the morgue.
The bodies had been removed from the Montezuma Monalisa funeral home in Murang’a South and transported to Kiharu constituency for the planned burial.
Three graves that had been dug for them in the village of Gatitu were filled with earth by a wing of the family who did not want the ceremony to take place there.
William Kamau, 77, his wife Jane Njoki, 69, their two daughters Rhoda Njeri, 40, and Evelyn Waithira, 32, died when their car crashed in Njira ya Ngenia, near Limuru.
Ms Waithira, a tutor at Kenya Medical Training College, Nairobi, was driving the car.
Tigoni Traffic Police boss Benson Onsongo told Nation.Africa the crash happened when the driver, heading towards Nakuru, attempted to overtake another car and collided head-on with an oncoming vehicle.
Ms. Njeri was buried on Monday on her husband’s land in the village of Kariti, near the Mukurwe wa Nyagathanga shrine.
“We had informed the family members that we would not allow them to bury the bodies on this land,” said James Ngige.
“We gave them a court order to this effect which we had obtained from the Murang’a courthouse. But the arrogance and impunity made them want to force the burial.”
He said the deceased was given another land and ordered to settle there, but chose to live on the disputed plot.
“They deliberately put themselves in this shame to remove the bodies from the morgue, to organize a mass for them in a church and finally, for lack of graves, to bring them back to the morgue,” he said.
He added that the inner circle of the bereaved family had hoped to use the money to force the ceremony.
He said the family hired their own security to force the burial only for a court order to prevail and force area police to ensure the ceremony does not take place.
Mr Anthony Gichatha, a son of the grieving family, said “the incident was regrettable and unfortunate”.
He said their burial plans were driven by “an insane greed for material wealth which shames family values and morals.”
He added, “Losing four family members all at once is very devastating. It is a tragedy that has overwhelmed us and left us in complete confusion. We are in a phase of acceptance and healing. .. So this shame visits us, “he added. noted.
Joyce Mwaniki, on the side of the deceased family, said they will now sit down and plan their next move.
“This stalemate will not last forever… the nonsense has to end so that we can bury our loved ones. When and where will we communicate to you later,” she said.
Opposition to the burial, she said, has been awkwardly staged and portrays the family as one that “practices crass capitalism that has no sensitivity or morals.”
But she added that the family would put the ugly incident behind them, reconcile and move forward together.