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Kagwe asked to apologise to Siaya family for their kin’s undignified burial


Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja wants the Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe to offer a private apology to the family of the late James Oyugi Onyango over the undignified manner of his burial.

This after Kagwe expressed regret in the way the burial of the deceased was conducted.

In his response to the Senate Ad Hoc Committee, which had raised concern over the matter, Kagwe admitted that Mr Oyugi was buried in an undignified manner.

“The Cabinet Secretary for Health expressed the sincere regret of the Ministry regarding the way the burial of the late James Oyugi Onyango was carried out. He conceded that this was not in line with the Guidelines issued by the Ministry, which promote a dignified burial process, respect for the deceased, and respect for the rights of the family,” said Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja, in his submission to the Senate on Tuesday.

Senator Sakaja however stated that the Cabinet Secretary should get in touch with the family of the late Oyugi and offer a private apology.

“Having acknowledged that the burial of Mr James Owino Onyango was not carried out in line with the guidelines and protocols issued by the Ministry, and noting the distress the matter has caused not just to Mr Onyango’s immediate family but also the community in Siaya and beyond, the Cabinet Secretary should get in touch with and offer a private apology to the family of the late Mr James Owino Onyango,” Sakaja said.

HURRIEDLY BURIED

The late Oyugi, who worked at the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) in Mombasa, died from Covid-19 on April 10.

His body was disinfected the same day and then hurriedly buried at around 2:30am that same night.

His burial attracted the attention netizen after a video surfaced, showing two medical personnel offloading Oyugi’s body from a pick-up before throwing it into a shallow grave.

Family members of the deceased were heard wailing in the background as the medical team covered the grave with soil.

Sakaja further asked the CS to roll out a robust program to train and create awareness among the members of the county health teams in all devolved units, on the guidelines and protocols for handling the burial of a person who has died from Covid-19.

“This will ensure that this does not happen again, and to address the stigma associated with coming into contact with or having a family member die from Coronavirus,” Sakaja stated.