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Governor Rasanga Apologizes Over Inhumane “Siaya Burial” After Public Uproar

james oyugi, siaya burial
KPA Employee James Oyugi Onyango. [Courtesy]

Siaya governor Cornel Rasanga on Monday set up a five member team to probe the bizarre burial of Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) employee.

James Oyugi was hurriedly buried on Sunday at 2.30 am.

In a video that has since gone viral, the deceased was placed in a body bag, carried out of the back of a pick up and dumped in a grave site.

His family members can be heard wailing in the background.

According to Rasanga, the county government will take disciplinary action against those involved in the dishonourable act.

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Further, the county boss asked those in the Public Health Department to consult their bosses before carrying out their mandate.

The bereaved family will after the required 14 day quarantine period perform the final burial rites, Rasanga said.

The team will be led by CECM Governance Dismas Wakla and County Police Commander Francis Kooli.

Speaking to a local TV station, the governor apologized for the burial which he described as “barbaric”.

“I am very sorry to the Republic of Kenya that this thing occurred the way it occurred. It was indeed very barbaric,” Rasanga said.

On Sunday, government pathologist Johansen Oduor admitted that the health practitioners in the bizarre burial erred.

“I don’t think that was what we meant when we came up with the guidelines. What we meant was burying the body within 24 to 48 hours. Even when you are burying the body, cultural, religious observation should be taken care of,” said Dr Oduor.

He did however rule out the possibility of exhuming the body for a decent burial.

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Earlier the ministry of health outlined measures that should be taken in case of a COVID-19 death at home.

Here is the process to be followed before burial:

  • Arrival of the body disposal team.
  • Staff expected not to wear PPE upon arrival.
  • Introduction to the family through greeting and offering of condolences before unloading necessary materials from the vehicles. (Request respectfully for a family representative).
  • The communicator to liaise with the family representative regarding the final rights.

The team handling the body will then be required to put on the protective gear, spray the body before putting it in the body bags.

If a coffin is available, it will be placed outside the house to be used by the health officials in full protective equipment.

Finally, a family representative in gloves will be required to close the coffin, it will then be disinfected and the body interred.

After the burial, the clothes, rooms and other items that the deceased might have interacted with will be disinfected by the health officials before leaving.

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Written by Eva Nyambura

Content creator at Kahawatungu.com | Passionate about telling the untold story. Lover of life, music and technology. Simplicity is KEY

Email: news@kahawatungu.com

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