19 March 2019

Kenya: Woman's Body to Be Buried Five Years After Death

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Photo: Daily Nation
The late John Katumbi’s surviving daughters, from left, Litha Katumbi, Amina Mbula and Evelyne Muthike.

The body of a woman, which has been lying at a Machakos mortuary for five years, will finally be buried after a court ruled that she died of natural causes.

The court stopped Beatrice Syokau Kathumba's burial twice over circumstances surrounding her death.

An inquest was then formed following reports that she was abducted and poisoned.

Chief Magistrate Heston Nyaga Monday said he had no reason to doubt medical experts' reports.

"They concurred on the findings of her death. The evidence of yet another doctor confirmed that Syokau was a long time patient. Nobody can be held responsible for her death," Mr Nyaga said.

The woman died at Kenyatta National Hospital on July 4, 2014.

The court told the parties in the case "to allow Syokau's soul rest in peace."

Mr Nyaga said many people were enjoined in the case believing that Syokau was the owner of a piece of land in Embakasi, Nairobi.

The prime property neighbouring Jomo Kenyatta International Airport is valued at billions of shillings.

"That explains why the body has never been buried. Like vultures circling a carcass, people who are not even related to Syokau were at the centre of her burial plans," the magistrate said.

He added that she was "a captive of greedy scavengers".

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