The family of Major General (Rtd) Eliud Mbilu, whose body has been lying at a city mortuary since April, has been ordered to resolve the burial dispute in 48 hours.
The former long-serving Navy Commander’s children are embroiled in a dispute with their step-mother over his burial.
His body has been lying at MP Shah Hospital mortuary in Nairobi.
According to court documents, the hospital detained the body after his wife, Ms Eunice Mbilu, refused to clear medical bills amounting to Sh10.3 million.
Letters of administration of his estate are being held by his widow and daughter, Ms Marie Kasyoka Mbilu.
Milimani Commercial Court Chief Magistrate Peter Gesora on Monday directed the family members, to reach an amicable solution.
Mr Gesora gave the directions when he heard an application filed under a certificate of urgency by Ms Kasyoka, seeking to compel the hospital to release her father’s body for burial at Yoani village, Mulango in Kitui.
Ms Kasyoka, who has named the hospital and her step-mother as respondents, is seeking orders to have the hospital compelled to release the body unconditionally to her “for a descend burial next to the grave of his late wife, Mrs Kavutha Mbilu, at Yoani”.
The court heard that already a grave has been dug and cannot stay unused, under the Kamba customs, for long.
The widow had been issued with a burial permit and her attempt to remove the body from the hospital on August 25 for burial the next day was disrupted.
Mr Gesora directed the widow’s lawyer Kimani Wakimaa and the law firm Harrison Hamington & Mathews for the daughter to appear before him on Wednesday to report on the progress of the resolution.
The daughter says her late father was admitted to MP Shah Hospital on November 11, 2016 for stablisation after a flight from India.
He had been seeking medication at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital in New Delhi for more than a year.
He remained at MP Shah Hospital until April 30, 2017 when he passed on.
Ms Kasyoka sued her step-mother on May 17 at the Milimani High Court Family Division seeking orders to withdraw funds for settling the hospital bill and organising the burial.
Justice Aggrey Muchelule, who heard the matter, observed that it was regrettable that the parties, by this unnecessary disagreement, did not want the body to be released from the hospital and accorded a decent burial.
On July 12, the judge directed KCB Kilindini Branch manager to pay Sh10,306,336 from the deceased’s account to cover the medical bill.
However, after the medical bill was settled and burial plans finalised, Ms Kasyoka and her siblings were shocked two weeks ago when they were denied access to their father’s body yet again.
MP Shah Hospital said it had been served with fresh court orders restraining the release of the body.
Additional reporting by Kitavi Mutua