A Kenyan woman whose husband was killed last week caused a stir after she attempted to stop his burial on Wednesday.
Mary Wangari, wife of Edward Mwangi, jumped into the grave as the pastor gave his sermon. She demanded that the body be taken back to the morgue until Mwangi’s killer was found.
Mwangi’s cousin Charles Mucheru also jumped into the grave and sat next to Mary. They demanded to be left alone until their grievances were addressed.
33-year-old Mwangi was killed on the night of December 3 and his body recovered in a farm near his home in Bahati.
Residents say Mwangi and two others stormed the suspect’s home after learning that his lover was in the man’s house.
“The three went to the suspect’s house at night, one of them armed with a knife. They attacked him but he overpowered them and snatched the weapon. Two of them fled to safety,” said a resident who sought anonymity.
The suspect stabbed Mwangi in the chest several times.
“According to a postmortem examination report, Mwangi died after being stabbed through the heart,” said Mucheru.
Mwangi struggled to make his way home, but unfortunately collapsed and died in a farm next to the suspect’s house.
“The suspect explained the circumstances under which he killed my cousin and surrendered the bloodied weapon to the police. Mwangi’s body was taken to Nakuru County mortuary,” he said.
Wangari claimed the suspect had since been set free.
“The suspect was…taken back to his home in a police vehicle. They denied me an OB (Occurrence Book) number and said they would follow up the matter. Even if the suspect killed my husband in self-defence the matter should be decided in court,” she said.
Wangari accused the police of not investigating the matter.
Mwangi’s parents and brothers, who live in Kirinyaga, planned the burial despite protests from Wangari and relatives from Nakuru.
“Those from Kirinyaga don’t know the pain we are going through. We want justice for (Edward). Burying him while his killer is walking free is denying his immediate family justice,” said Mucheru.
Wangari added: “All I want is justice for my husband. He will not be buried before I see the suspect in the docks. I want a fair hearing of the matter,” added the widow.
Dundori MCA Michael Chege’s efforts to calm Mucheru and Wangari down bore no fruit.
“We equally want justice and truth over the matter. However, let us bury him with respect for his spirit to go in peace. God will serve justice if the Government system will fail,” said Mr Chege.
Nominated MCA Rose Karugi, Mwangi’s neighbour, called on the police to investigate the matter to its logical conclusion.
“Even if he was on the wrong the law should apply. We want justice for (Edward). We have lost him in a way that is painful. The suspect should be taken to court to defend himself,” she said.
The burial ceremony was stopped for over two hours as residents and kin pleaded with the two to let the burial proceed.
They ignored everyone, even Mwangi’s father Daniel Mwea.
“Mary, listen to me. This is my son. I’m also in pain and want justice for my son. Allow us to bury him and follow up the matter later,” he pleaded.
At 2.20pm, Mr Mwea lost his cool and ordered his other relatives to forcibly get Wangari and Mucheru out of the grave.
“My son will be buried. Today! Get them out and lower the casket,” he ordered. Relatives obliged.
After order was restored Mwangi was hurriedly buried with the casket ‘facing the wrong direction’.