Coffin. photo credit: burialplanning

Six years after a man died —and six years after mortuary fees accrued, a Meru family in Buuri constituency has finally been able to bury their father.

They praised the government for waiving more than Sh1.5 million mortuary fees.

Esther Rigeria Mutiga, who lives alone at the home in Acre Mbili she shared with Samuel Mutiga, her son and daughter for years, said she could not raise the money to give her husband a decent burial.

“I am a widow and vulnerable. I had nothing to sell to settle the bill. Even my transport to and from home to attend court was raised by the clan. I could not get sleep. I have had deep thoughts and stress over the body and our land,” she said on Friday.

“I am now very free. God must receive this Glory. We bless and hail the governor and everyone else who intervened.” 

Mutiga’s body had been lying at Meru Teaching and Referral Hospital mortuary. The Star established that as of January, the fees had built up to Sh1.5 million.

Health Executive Misheck Mutuma and Governor Kiraitu Murungi heard the family’s appeal.

“A  court case delayed everything despite the family being poor. I have led the negotiations to ensure justice for the family and an amicable solution. The body will be released from the hospital for free,” Mutuma said at the family home on Friday.

“The governor has committed to seeing the family gets a title deed,” he said.

“It is a God-given command to take care of the widows and orphans,” Mutuma said. 

MCA Peter Kalembe said he intervened by inviting the family and the feuding neighbour to his home to seek a solution involving lawyers of both parties.

He praised Kiraitu for agreeing to have the body released for free, saying he feared the family could be chased from their home.

During an earlier interview, Mutiga’s daughter Judith Kanugu said her father died in 2013 after an illness. She said a person claiming to have bought the land from her father denied them access to bury him on the two acres.

Kanugu said they were not aware of the transaction, which prompted them to move to court as their father’s body was moved to the mortuary.

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She said the case ended in January after the court ruled that the land belonged to them, “but they couldn’t clear the accrued bills at the mortuary to bury their father’.

Family friend Stephen Gitonga said the family is even unable to even cater for some basic needs like food. citing drought.