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Woman’s body exhumed in Kakamega after two years over family dispute

The body of Cecilia Shilosio is exhumed in Magale village following a court order. [Photo: Duncan Ocholla, Standard]

The body of an elderly woman who was buried almost two years ago was exhumed at the weekend following a dispute among family members.

Cecilia Shilosio was buried by her first son, Alfred Amulyoto, on June 23, 2015, in Magale village, Kambiri location, but his brothers wanted their mother buried in Eregi, 30km away, where they were raised.

On March 23, the High Court in Kakamega ruled that the body should be exhumed from Alfred’s land and taken to the mortuary where it will remain until a judgement on where it should be buried is made.

Luhya traditions

Ronald Amulyoto, another son of the deceased, obtained the court order that was issued to the Kambiri OCS, Joab Kipchumba, to oversee the exhumation.

Austine Amulyoto, his brother, said their mother’s body had lain in the morgue for 66 days as the matter was heard in court.

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He explained that their eldest brother had quietly picked the body from the morgue and secretly buried it in June 2015.

“None of us knew of his plan until we got a tip from a friend that the body was to be removed from the mortuary at 9am on June 22, 2015,” he stated.

Of the seven members of the family, Alfred and Geraldine Amulyoto were the only ones present during their mother’s burial.

“According to Luhya tradition, my mother’s matrimonial home is very important. The spirits will not let the dead settle unless this problem is solved,” said Austine.

During the exhumation, Joseph Andolo, an uncle of the wrangling children, prayed according to Luhya custom by addressing the body: “As we leave here, do not embarrass us because your son has done wrong. We want to take you where you belong,” he said. 

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