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Drama as body buried two months ago exhumed – PHOTOS

A body of a man buried almost two months ago on a disputed piece of land in Tieng’re, Kisumu County was on Tuesday exhumed following a directive issued by the High Court.

Villagers watched in disbelief as youths hired by Gibson Onunga, who claims legal ownership of the disputed land, pulled out the casket containing remains of the late Ogada Ouko.

This, however, sparked protests by a section of residents, who angered by the court’s decision, took to the streets, pelting law enforcement officers who had been called to oversee the process with stones.

PHOTO | TONNY OMONDI
PHOTO | TONNY OMONDI

This prompted the officers to fire several teargas canisters to contain demonstrators.

Once the coffin was placed into a waiting police lorry, a group of youths descended on a house that belonged to the deceased and brought it down.

Wails and cries from the women, who witnessed the demolition, could not deter the young men from accomplishing their mission.

Conflict arose in 2014 following Mr Ouko’s death.

A group of youths carry a roof of a destroyed a house after exhuming the body of Ogada Ouko on May 23, 2017. PHOTO | TONNY OMONDI
A group of youths carry a roof of a destroyed a house after exhuming the body of Ogada Ouko on May 23, 2017. PHOTO | TONNY OMONDI

It is claimed that the deceased’s uncle had sold the piece of land to Mr Onunga at a “cheap price” in 2007.

However, Mr Onunga insists he is the rightful owner of the land that was legally purchased in 1986 and transaction concluded.

“In the year 2007, I was given this land by my dad. I have lived here since. At some point, there were claims that the land was bought at a throw away price and that we should give it out,” he says.

“Following the deceased’s death in 2014, his clan unanimously agreed he should be buried in the controversial parcel of land, but I moved to court to challenge the decision,” he went on.

A woman wails as a group of youths exhumed the body of Ogada Ouko on May 23, 2017 two months after his burial over a land dispute. PHOTO | TONNY OMONDI
A woman wails as a group of youths exhumed the body of Ogada Ouko on May 23, 2017 two months after his burial over a land dispute. PHOTO | TONNY OMONDI

“But as the case went on, the deceased relatives went ahead to bury him one and a half months ago. I therefore reported the matter to the police as well as obtained orders to exhume the body and demolish a structure that had been put up on my land.”

Acting Korando B sub-location Chief Kennedy Onyango said they got orders stopping burial and any construction in the land.

“It is unfortunate that the burial was done notwithstanding the court order,” he said.