A family from Gitathiini Village in Nyeri left business owners and residents in shock on Tuesday, March 3, 2020, after they staged a rare funeral procession.
The staged funeral procession was meant to raise funds for their kin’s hospital bill and secure the release of his body from Umash Funeral Home for burial.
According to a report by Capital FM News, the family was unable to raise over Ksh1.4 million incurred in medical and mortuary fees, following the death of their relative on January 11, 2020, after a battle with cancer.
This forced the family to parade the casket on a donkey-drawn cart around Nyeri Town in a bid to raise funds to foot the huge bill.
A photo of a hearse
They traversed the township appealing to well-wishers for assistance. The body which is currently held at the expensive Umash Funeral Home has a bill of Ksh 1,372,284 in total.
Margret Wanjiku, the deceased’s daughter, stated that they had taken the move because they were unable to raise the funds.
She insisted that the family had tried to conduct a fundraiser at home but was unsuccessful.
“We as a family have had no alternative but to move to the street to seek assistance so that people of goodwill can hear our cries,” she narrated.
Wanjiku further expressed the desire to give their father a decent send-off.
“We have to bury our father whose body is rotting in the morgue after being detained. We wish to lay him to rest,” she explained.
“All family members are unable to concentrate on their day-to-day businesses at the moment,” she concluded.
All hope is not lost as the family was later given a letter from the area assistant chief to hold an interdenominational prayer service and fundraiser to help ask for more funds.
According to the civil suit 448 of 2015, it is common law that there is no property in a dead body as it cannot be offered or held as security for payment of a debt.
A dead body cannot be auctioned if there is a default as pointed out by Justice Philip In 1998.
“Dead bodies are for interment or cremation without delay unless there is a dispute on where to dispose of the deceased,” he stated.
The Civil Suit 448 of 2015 also states that courts should not be used to abet breach of a person’s obligation to pay lawfully incurred debts whether a person gets well or dies.
This has thus become the main reason why so many bodies have been held up pending clearing of dues incurred during treatment.