• Atheists in Kenya say public viewing of dead bodies as an "archaic, unhealthy, and defunct" practice.
• President Harrison Mumia cited that a dead body might it may cause harm to the viewers.
The Atheists in Kenya Society wants the government to ban the public viewing of dead bodies.
In a press statement signed by its President Harrison Mumia, the society termed public viewing of dead bodies as an "archaic, unhealthy, and defunct" practice.
This ban, the society said, should be applicable to all the funerals in the country since it may cause harm to the viewers.
"According to research, there are potential cognitive effects of having viewed a deceased body, something called "false recognitions". This is when a person thinks they hear or see the deceased in the immediate environment, followed by the realization that the person is dead. These anomalous experiences can cause people to be afraid, sad, or even feel unhappy," the statement from the society read.
The Society further urged Kenyans to embrace cremation to prevent such unnecessary stints.
"There are better ways to treat our dead, understand death and find closure. We urge Kenyans to embrace cremation. There is a need to create awareness of cremation so as to reduce the likelihood of cultural offense."
The request from Atheists in Kenya Society comes at a time when the public viewing of the late President Mwai Kibaki's body is ongoing at Parliament buildings.
Kibaki was meant to lie in state from Monday, April to Wednesday, April. This will be followed by a state funeral which will be held at the Nyayo National Stadium on Friday, April 29.
As he lies in state, Kenyans have thronged parliament buildings to view the body of the late President.
The public viewing has been accompanied by uncontrollable emotions from a number of mourners.
On Monday and Tuesday, cases of Kenyans being overcome by emotions during the public viewing exercise were reported. One is of a woman who fainted.