Shock as Kenya officials exhume dead body to retrieve uniform

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Martin Shikuku Alukoye was buried in his full Kakamega County Youth Service uniform after drowning this month. Local officials then exhumed the body to retrieve the uniform, despite opposition from his family. Mr Alukoye’s uncle said they had violated “the laws of the land and the laws of our forefathers”.

According to Francis Mutamba “We had fully involved the county government in the burial arrangements and they never resisted our proposal to bury [him] in his work regalia,” The family said they had opposed requests from officials to retrieve the uniform following the 31-year-old’s burial, but that officials then did so without their consent or a court order.

The assistant chief of the Ituti area, Daniel Namayi, condemned the exhumation as he threatened legal action against the officers. “Once a body has been buried, it requires anyone with a complaint to get a court order in order to exhume it.

The county administrators have gone against the law in recovering [the] clothing,” he told the Daily Nation. Elders of the Abang’onya clan have also criticised the county officials for the exhumation, which they view as being taboo. “We had decided to bury our son at night in line with culture which dictates that a person who died by drowning should not be buried while the sun is shining.

But the county officers have surprised us when they decided to exhume the body to recover their regalia,” Mr Mutamba said. The body was dressed in a new set of clothes and re-buried earlier this week after elders performed rituals to cleanse the family.

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