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Why We Exhumed Our Father’s Body- Two Brothers

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Residents of Nyalunya village in Lower Nyakach were shocked when two brothers exhumed the body of their father to prove their uncle wrong on their paternity.

The brothers dug up the grave of their father, who died 10 years ago, retrieved his remains and set off to take them to the police.

They said they wanted the officers to conduct DNA tests to determine whether the man was their father in the hope of laying to rest their uncle’s repeated claims that he was not.

The two (names withheld as one of them is a minor), who appeared before Ahero Principal Magistrate Patrick Olengo on Wednesday, admitted exhuming the body. They will be sentenced tomorrow.

When the charges were read to them, they admitted that they jointly conceived the idea of digging up the body and consequently performed the exhumation on Monday.

The elder brother, aged 21, was taking a course before his arrest. His brother who is aged 14 is a Form Two student.

According to witnesses, the two went to the site shortly before noon on the fateful day armed with digging tools and a spade and commenced work.

Relatives who questioned their actions were threatened with dire consequences and had to watch from a distance.

After about three hours, they retrieved their father’s bones, stuffed them in a sack and set of for Pap Onditi Police Station, about five kilometres away. They were arrested before they reached the station.

“It was something that has never been witnessed here, so many people feared the wrath of the dead due to the taboos associated with the action, hence did not want to engage them,” said Joseph Onyango, a neighbour.

Mr Onyango said the villagers instead called the police, but they failed to arrive on time.

Their mother said the action had painted her family in bad light.

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“I have not gone to any neighbouring home since the incident occurred. Nobody wants to move close to me so I only have my God to speak to even as we wait for the verdict of the court,” she said.

She was out fetching firewood when the boys dug up the grave.

Verbal exchange

“When I arrived home, my other children told me the two had engaged in a verbal exchange with their distant uncle over the parcel of land on which our home sits,” she said.

She added that since the death of her husband, the uncle had been threatening to kick the boys out and had been calling them names, insinuating they were not the deceased’s real sons.

On the fateful day, the woman said, the uncle had given his sons two weeks to vacate the land and “go find their real father”.

Villagers were discussing what should be done after the ‘abomination’. Michael Jole, an elder, said the two must be cleansed before being allowed back into the village.

According to Mr Jole, elders would have to perform fresh burial rites, either on the same grave or in a different one.

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