A family in Kakamega County was left in shock and grief after county officials forced them to exhume the body of their son who was buried in service uniform.
According to reports, Martin Shikuku Alukoye, 31, was working with the Kakamega County Youth Service at the time of his death.
He is said to have drowned in River Eburinde, Kakamega County on August 7 and was buried on the night of August 11 according to the Luhya customs.
His family noted that he was epileptic and drowned after he collapsed in the gash of the river waters while crossing it.
He was then buried fully dressed in the green coloured county youth service uniform including boots, service cap and a lanyard.
Following his death, the Ituti community county administrator, accompanied by other administrators, visited the home in a bid to take back the service attire that was given to the deceased.
To their surprise, they were informed that the county employee had been buried in the service uniform.
However, without a court order, the county officials forcibly exhumed the body.
It is reported that the family helplessly watched as the coffin of their son was brought out of the grave, the body removed and stripped off the county uniform.
Francis Mutamba, the deceased’s uncle noted: “The officers went against the laws of the land and the laws of our forefathers as they dismantled the coffin to reclaim the uniform. We had fully involved the county government in the burial arrangements and they never resisted our proposal to bury our son in his work regalia.”
He further mentioned that a section of the county officers were present during the burial but did not advise the family about burying their departed colleague in the service uniform.
Ituti Su-Location Assistant chief Daniel Namayi condemned the step taken by the county officers.
“Once a body has been buried, it requires anyone with a complaint to get a court order in order to exhume it. The county administrators have gone against the law in recovering their clothing,” Mr Namayi explained.
Namayi also affirmed those police officers who die while in service are buried in full uniform and this should not be different for officers serving in counties.
The body was later reburied after the elders conducted rituals to cleanse the family.