A Kenyan Woman Who Died In 2004 Finally Buried

A family in Kenya has buried its relative after 17 years of land dispute

Esther Nzakwa​ Kitivo was buried on Saturday, April 24, at her son’s home in Machakos County, southeast of Nairobi, pending the determination of the land tussle.

The burial ceremony took only one hour under tight security.

Esther died on August 31, 2004, aged 93, but her burial backfired when one of her step-sons claimed the homeownership. The step-son received a permanent injunction, but the deceased family maintained that she has to be buried next to her husband, Gideon Kitivo Ndambuki. The latter died in 2000 in line with the Kamba community’s traditions.

Since 2004 the court is yet to decide if she was the real owner of the land. In 2014, Kenyan Justice Beatrice Thuranira Jaden downplayed the claims that traditional customs act as determinants of where Esther’s body was to be interred.

The family revealed that during the 17 years when the body was lying at the morgue, the mortuary bill piled up to over ksh3 million (approximately $30,000).

Elsewhere, police have arrested three people for burying a woman’s body at Kongwea cemetery in Nyali, Mombasa County, Kenya’s Coast.

Police nabbed Collins Okoth alongside two others following a tip-off from the members of the public.

Mr. Okoth is accused of stashing the body of his wife Mary Mwende in a sack before burying her in a shallow grave in the cemetery.

Okoth told the police that his wife has been ailing for sometimes and due to financial constraints, they could not afford to give her a decent send-off.

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