Police in Naivasha have arrested a cleric after he was found exhuming the bodies of seven relatives who died years ago.
During the incident in Kinamba area, the Bishop from Akorino faith had already exhumed three of the bodies including that of his late wife before police and officers from public health intervened.
The unshaken cleric admitted to exhuming the bodies adding that he wanted to bury them elsewhere so that he could sell the parcel of land to quarry workers to extract construction materials.
The suspect Bishop Samuel Macharia defended his actions saying that he had tried to obtain a court order but the process had taken a lot of time.
He said that he decided to personally exhume the bodies as it was very expensive to hire experts in the field confirming that he had already exhumed three of the seven bodies.
“I have another parcel of land where I wanted to take the bodies but I guess I jumped the gun by failing to wait for a court order,” he said.
Among the bodies that the suspect had exhumed included that of his wife, son and mother before the police and officials from public health intervened.
“I have been to the law courts, the police station and public health offices but I got tired of waiting and decided to exhume and relocate the bodies to another grave,” he said.
Following the incident, relatives and neighbors jumped to his defense saying that it was the norm for area residents to relocate graves so as to lease the land to quarry workers.
A niece to the suspect Rebecca Wambui said that the operation was carried out in the night adding that she was shocked to find the graves flattened in the morning.
“He had made us aware that he would be relocating the bodies to another grave but the problem is that he failed to involve the government agencies,” she said.
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A neighbor Miriam Wangari termed the incident as the norm in the sleepy village adding that tens of bodies had been exhumed to give way to the quarries.
“We have in the past witnessed such cases where bodies buried near quarries were shifted to other graves and this is not a surprise for us,” she said.
Speaking on phone, Naivasha OCPD Samuel Waweru confirmed the incident adding that the remains had been taken to Naivasha mortuary while the suspect was in custody and would be arraigned in court.
– The Star/ Antony Gitonga