Forget it: Ken Okoth’s family speaks on plans for ‘banana trunk’ burial
The family of Kibra MP Ken Okoth will not conduct any Luo traditional rituals following his cremation as earlier proposed by a section of elders.
Instead, the family will conduct a prayer service at Mr Okoth’s maternal home at Ogenga village in Kabondo Kasipul, Homa Bay County, at a date to be announced soon.
This was revealed when National Assembly Minority Leader John Mbadi and Kabondo Kasipul MP Eve Obara visited Mr Okoth’s mother, Anjeline Ajwang’ on Monday to condole with her family.
CLOSED DOOR MEETING
The two leaders held a closed-door meeting with other family members who agreed to reconcile after earlier differences on how the body of their brother would be disposed of.
Some family members were for burial of the body, while others were for cremation, but Mr Mbadi, who spoke to journalists after the meeting, announced the family have resolved their differences.
A distraught Ms Ajwang’, who seemed unwilling to speak to journalists, said, however, that there shall be a memorial prayer.
“Whatever happened is now water under the bridge. The family is now focused on the way forward,” Mr Mbadi said.
He spoke as the bona fide Luo council of elders’ chairman Ker Willis Otondi denounced some proposals by members of a splinter group headed by Nyandiko Ongadi terming them as “archaic”.
Mr Ongadi had proposed that the family conducts certain rituals plus inheriting his wife Monica.
On Monday, Mr Otondi accused Mr Ongadi of advancing outdated cultural beliefs, thus embarrassing the Luo community.
“Initially the Luo used to remove six lower teeth, which is now a thing of the past. The same should apply to certain ancient beliefs like those fronted by Ongadi,” he said.
There was speculation that Mr Okoth’s family would bury a banana trunk to symbolise a body since he was cremated but it is now official: that will not happen.
Mr Mbadi said he was appointed by National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi to spearhead the send-off ceremony.
“We had made plans including hiring a chopper at Sh590,000 to take the body of the MP to Got Rateng’ in Kabondo Kasipul. But because the family had different opinions about the send-off style, we had to do according to their wish,” he said.