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Senior medical officer disowns late wife, declines to bury her body

A family in Bungoma County is living in agony after a senior medical officer disowned his late wife who died of a long term illness.

The family has been incurring heavy mortuary bills after the Webuye Sub-County Hospital Superintendent Dr Patrick Mutoro Wambisi declined to collect the body of Florence Nasimiyu Chai, three weeks after she died at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret while undergoing treatment.

The mother of the deceased, Gladys Khakali Chai, on Thursday said she was contemplating moving to court to seek orders to compel Dr Mutoro to collect the body for burial, a move the medic said he was ready to battle.

“We have no option but to seek legal redress since the late was married under customary law and a bride price was paid,” said Mrs Chai through her lawyer Geoffrey Kisilia Okara.

But Dr Mutoro said he had solid reasons why he was not ready to collect the body. He said he was only ready reveal his reveal his reasons in court.

“I am ready we meet in court and it will decide if it will proceed, in the chambers or publicly,” Mr Mutoro said on phone while also accusing his in-laws for going public over the matter.

CUSTOMARY MARRIAGE

According to Mrs Chai, the late Nasimiyu was married to Dr Mutoro in 1998 and paid dowry according to Luhya customary laws and wondered why he was not ready to bury the body.

“We fail to understand why our in-law has disowned his wife of 20 years yet they have they have sired three children,” said Mrs Chai.

The distressed widow said she spent a lot of money in medication of her daughter when she was disowned by Dr Mutoro soon after she fell sick last year.

“I have moved to several hospitals seeking medication which has cost me a lot of money and I expected my son-in-law to bury his wife in accordance with our traditions,” she added.

Several administrators, including Kakamwe location Chief Felix Makembayi, confirmed that Nasimiyu was married to Dr Mutoro and they had children.

“I confirm that the late is the wife of one Dr Mutoro who is a resident of my area of operation,” said Mr Makembayi in a letter copied Mrs Chai’s lawyer.

However, Mrs Chai maintained that she is likely to incur extra costs if the body continues to remain in the mortuary due to the raging burial dispute.