Video:Drama as Kenyan body from diaspora is buried and exhumed

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Juliet Wachera Gitahi died in Richmond VA on 2nd January 2014 (Read the obituary here).Family and friends came together and raised enough money to repatriated the body back to Kenya for burial. As the body lay in the local morgue, Juliet’s brother claimed the body and buried his sister in haste without Juliet’s husband’s knowledge or consent.

On learning of what happened,Juliet’s husband reported the matter to the police and got permission to exhume the body to bury his wife at a location of his choosing.Is this a Diaspora Dilemma?

Juliet Wachera Gitahi

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Woman’s body exhumed as families bicker over dowry

The body of a 60-year-old woman was on Tuesday evening exhumed following a dispute over dowry.

Hardly 24 hours after Ms Juliet Wachera was secretly buried by her brother, Mr John Kaguo Wangondu, at Kwa-Joseph village in Tetu, her husband, Mr Michael Gitahi Mucheru, obtained a court order authorising him to bury her at his home in Murang’a County in what residents called “the most bizarre incident ever”.

Mr Mucheru told a Nyeri court that his rights would be violated if his late wife was buried on her brother’s land as he was legally married to her.

At the time of her death, on January 2, 2014, Ms Wachera was living with her husband in the United States where she was a banker.

A source close to the families said Ms Wachera was hurriedly buried on Monday morning by her family in a ceremony that took less than an hour.

It is also claimed her brother demanded Sh1 million from Mr Mucheru as dowry.

“I am angry that this man purporting to be my sister’s husband did not pay her bride price. That is why he cannot be allowed to bury her at their his home,” Mr Wangondu said.

However, Mr Mucheru said he was legally married to Ms Wachera for 25 years and had a right to bury her at his home.

“My wife’s brother took her body from Montezuma Monalisa mortuary without my consent and together with his family hurriedly buried her at his home regardless of our marital status. I have every reason to accord my wife a decent send-off,” he said.

The body is now at the Nyeri Provincial General Hospital mortuary.-nation.co.ke

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