Woman’s burial halted as body is snatched in row over custody of daughter

casket

A man walks past an abandoned casket bearing the body of Vane Kwamboka at a village in South Mugirango, Kisii County, on September 30, 2022.    


Photo credit: Wycliffe Nyaberi | Nation Media Group

The burial of a woman in Ikoba village, Bomachoge Chache, Kisii County, was halted on Friday after a group of local youths snatched the coffin with her remains and took it to her ex-lover’s home in South Mugirango.

The dispute arose when the youths realised that the late Vane Kwamboka Momanyi, who was in her early 20s, would be buried without her three-year-old daughter, who had been taken away by her ex-boyfriend.

Ms Kwamboka’s parents died many years ago when she was young. Relatives from neighbouring South Mugirango constituency took her in and raised her.

She met a man in the neighbourhood and developed an intimate relationship with him.

When she became pregnant, the man wanted to marry her but his parents objected.

Ms Kwamboka then moved to Nairobi to search for a job and support her family, leaving her daughter with her father.

Two weeks ago, Ms Kwamboka died in a road accident.

Because her ex-lover’s parents did not want her buried at their South Mugirango home, Ms Kwamboka’s relatives decided to bury her in Bomachoge.

But this was only under the condition that her daughter is surrendered and be brought to Bomachoge to witness her mother’s burial.

As mourners and other guests gathered to pay their last respects to Ms Kwamboka, it became apparent that the girl had not been allowed to attend her mother’s burial. This prompted angry Bomachoge residents to ferry the mother’s body to her former boyfriend’s home in protest.

They left the casket outside when they found no one at home and the houses locked and deserted.

“We will not bury her minus her daughter. Let them do whatever they want, but our traditions dictate that if a child or children are alive and near, they should attend their parents’ burial,” one of the villagers who brought the body said.

By the time this story was filed, the body was still in Boikang’a village, South Mugirango, with locals left in disbelief.

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