Panic engulfed Oloolua village in Kajiado County after a corpse of a 16-year-old boy allegedly “refused” to be buried on Friday, May 29.
When Juma Okwale’s body left Nairobi City Mortuary on the same day, nothing strange was noticed by relatives and mourners at his Oloolua home.
Start of Trouble
But trouble started soon his body arrived at Ngong Cemetery when eye-witnesses claimed Okwale’s coffin refused to be taken to his grave.
Okwale, a former Class 7 pupil at Oloolua Primary School, was lynched by a mob on the morning of May 22 after he was suspected to have raided a shop with others near his home.
Ngong police on that fateful morning, under the orders of Kajiado North Sub-County Police Commander Rashid Mohammed, moved Okwale’s body to city mortuary.
Mohammed said he handed over the case to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations to follow the matter up.
He confirmed a crime had taken place and the minor was found dead after he was allegedly attacked by a mob on allegations he took part with others to raid a shop.
But elders led by Okwale’s father, Moses Obuteyia, said his son’s death was caused by “evil” people and that his refusal to be interred was a clear “evidence the gods were unhappy”.
Obuteyia told the Star his family roots are traced to the boundary of Kenya and Uganda and that members of his clan have a history of revenging their slain relatives.
He said that whoever took the life of his only son will have to contend with a curse from his dead ancestors, who have the role of protecting the living relatives.
Not Ready To Negotiate
“I am not ready to negotiate with the killers of my son but I am now leaving their fate on earth to my ancestors. They will not have peace as long as they are still on earth,” said Okwale’s father.
He went on; “After we consulted my dead son at Ngong cemetery, he told us that he would only accept to be interred after a metal used by the owner of the shop to break his head is buried with him,” said his father.
Obuteyia’s wife passed on several years ago and was left with two children; the diseased and a daughter, who was taken over by a children’s home.
He works as a watchman in Oloolua.
After several consultations, hundreds of people who turned up for the burial took the body of the slain boy to the Oloolua shop.
“We saw a large number of mourners descent on a shop at Oloolua and ransacked it, took the loot, and doused petrol on it before setting it ablaze,” said Peter Ndonga, a resident of Oloolua.
The area police commander, Muhammed, said police are investigating the incident and what led to the burning of the businessman’s shop.
The wife of the businessman is said to have managed to escape from the scene minutes before the mob arrived.
Her husband, it is said, was not within the premises at that time.
The late Okwale’s body was later taken back to Ngong cemetery where it was buried without any further demands.