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Back-from-the-dead Kitui Man seeks to be ‘unburied’

A family in Kanyaa location of Kitui County was recently dumbfounded when the brother they thought had died and who they buried returned home after 30 years of absence.

Mbiti Kitheka Mutunga, 60, of Kanyaa location, Kitui County left home in the 1970s, and went to Laikipia where he was working as a casual laborer and did not return home until recently.

The area Chief, Mr. Boniface Tumbo told KNA at the area that while he was away, the family was informed that their relative had been killed by thugs in Embu where he had been working as a guard.

He said a delegation comprising of the man’s family went to Embu to identify the body, and though the deceased’s face was badly disfigured, the family concluded it was their long lost son because his ID card bore the name Mbiti Kitheka, while his daughter’s name was similar to that of his mother.

The family conducted a fund raiser, and took the body home and buried the deceased. According to his wife, the dead man planned to return home with his family at the end of the month but was killed before he could do so.

Mbiti told KNA that he was in Laikipia all this long as a casual worker and at no time did he go to Embu. Ironically the person that was buried bore the name Mbiti Kitheka but without the surname Mutunga.


When the ‘real’ Mbiti therefore turned up last year, the family thought he was a ghost. The case was made more complicated because in his 30 year absence, Mbiti’s father subdivided the family land among his three wives, with each wife sharing it to her children.

Currently, Mbiti who returned without any property is living in abject poverty in house that goes for a rent of Sh 300 per month at Kanyaa trading centre. The rent is paid for by members of the Kenya Assemblies of God (KAG) church.

Tumbo said the family dilemma has become a serious matter and the clan is willing to rectify the situation by exhuming the body they buried, then clear the grave and cleanse the land, then give Mbiti his share. But this is taking too long as Mbiti continues suffering.

The chief said Mbiti has a wife and children in Laikipia and would be happy to bring them home once the land issue is settled as his share went to his brothers.

In addition Mbiti had a family in Kitui when he left 30 years ago but has since fallen apart after he left followed by the wife and is yet to reunite with his two children now adults.

According to an elder in village the family needs to have consultation with the clan to put an end to the delay in removal of the grave, conduct cleansing rituals and give the legitimate Mbiti his share to avoid the curse.

Mbiti’s brother Katwi Kitheka, 74, said he did not understand why his brother stayed away from the family for so long, adding that the family is willing to give him his share of land.