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Nyeri youths take over burial ceremony, conduct their own ceremony


A burial ceremony in Nyeri County ended prematurely when a group of youths and women hijacked a church service on Saturday.

The rowdy youths, believed to have come from Nairobi, had arrived in Ndumano village in Mathira in two buses to pay their respects to Zachary Munyiri, 27, who died at Mathari Mission Hospital last week.

Even though the family remained tight-lipped about the incident, sources told The Standard the group had initially tried to exhume the body before being prevailed on by elders not to.

“They insisted on exhuming the body so they would get a glimpse of him and conduct their own ceremony,” a source who sought anonymity explained.

The catechist, Martin Kagume, said he had been sent by the priest in charge of Gikaibei Catholic Church, a few kilometres away, to preside over the burial.

“The service was almost over and I was in the process of administering the holy sacrament when a group of youths began shouting,” said Mr Kagume.

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DIGGING FORKS

He said they wanted him to leave at once so they could take over the ceremony and bury their friend.

“Pastor, go away you have finished your job. It is our turn to bury him,” Kagume quoted the youths, adding that they surrounded the grave armed with spades and digging forks.

He said he left the homestead immediately and the group took over the ceremony as hundreds of mourners watched in disbelief.

One mourner who declined to be named said when the catechist left, women began throwing their underwear into the grave.

“The men were not left behind and threw all manner of items into the grave. We suspect bhang was among the items,” he said.

The mourner added that the youths then covered the grave and put a cross on it.

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Other sources linked the group to an outlawed sect, claiming the young man was attacked by members of a rival group in Nairobi several weeks ago.

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