The Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) has announced plans to dispose of 119 unclaimed bodies at the City Mortuary, Mama Lucy Hospital Funeral Home, and the Mbagathi Hospital Funeral Home.
84 out of the 119 bodies are marked as unknown, with the cause of death ranging from murder, shooting, drowning, suicide, natural, mob justice, unknown to “sudden”.
“Interested members of the public are asked to identify and collect the bodies within seven days, failure to which the Nairobi Metropolitan Services will seek authority for disposal,” said NMS in a notice published in the dailies.
Most of the bodies (89) are at the City Mortuary while 11 are at the Mama Lucy Hospital Funeral Home. Three are at the Mbagathi Hospital Funeral Home.
In November 2020, NMS disposed of at least 166 unclaimed bodies are at the City Mortuary, nine at Mbagathi Funeral Home, and Thirteen at Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital. In March 2020 NMS disposed of at least 185 bodies across city morgues.
Nairobi City Mortuary has a holding capacity of 160 bodies, with roughly 18 bodies coming in daily, most being victims of extra-judicial killings, road accidents, and murder.
What baffles many is the high number of unidentified bodies especially at City Mortuary, despite the facility having a Police Station that mostly keeps check of the bodies being brought in.
In most cases, police stations have a department of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), with access to the fingerprint database used to identify persons in Kenya.
According to a report released by Missing Voices in 2020, at least 107 Kenyans were killed by the police in 2019. Missing Voices is a consortium of organizations working towards the end of enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings in the country.
In Kenya, there are hundreds of people who have “mysteriously” gone missing, some of them after reporting that their lives are in danger.
Whenever a person reports that their loved one is missing, in most cases their bodies are found dumped in suspected murder cases, while others become cases of hit and run incidences in Nairobi roads.
Here are some reactions from Kenyans on Twitter:-
— KenyaNiYetuSote (@ni_sote) March 18, 2021
The answer lies in the D+ issues; let's stop beating about the bush. DCI has received massive amounts of support (equipment, etc) from various partners
— Prof1 (@Prof1one) March 18, 2021
What is this cause of death called Sudden 😡?
— @MM2 (@miharim) March 18, 2021
Do they even take their DNA?
— Dokta Soyo (@DoktaSoyo) March 18, 2021