Ken Okoth’s kin locked in bitter feud over burial place
A row has broken out between relatives of Kibra MP Ken Okoth about where he should be buried.
Okoth died last Friday after a long struggle with cancer.
While his paternal relatives want his remains to be interred at Kanyachir Amocho village in Kochia, Homa Bay county, his mother insists he will be buried at her Ogenga village in Kabondo Kasipul constituency.
There are also reports that the legislator had left a will with his wife directing that he be cremated upon his death.
According, a WhatsApp post circulated widely yesterday, Okoth’s body “is scheduled to be cremated at a private function in Nairobi after requiem mass at Starehe Boys’ Centre in Nairobi tomorrow”.
But Okoth’s mother Angeline Ajwang Ongere says she is not aware about any cremation plans. She also denied that Okoth had any children.
“Ken did not sire any child. I know many women will come out to claim they have a child with Ken,” she told journalists at her Kibera home yesterday.
Ongere separated with Okoth’s father, Nicholas Obonyo, in the 1980s and moved back to her parent’s home in Kabondo Kasipul with her children. Mother and son would later move to Kibera, where Okoth was raised.
According to late MP’s uncle Raymond Mbai, the separation resulted in Okoth being “forgotten” in his father’s home in Kochia.
Notwithstanding, Mbai says his remains should be buried in his late father’s ancestral home in line with Luo traditions.
“Even if they separated, a bride price and dowry was paid and that, according to Luo traditions, confirms that the child is ours,” he said. Mbai accused Ongere for not involving them in Okoth’s burial plans.
Ongere is not only opposed to the idea of her son’s remains being cremated, she wants him buried at her ancestral home, not his father’s.
“I want him to be buried at Kabondo Kasipul home where I wake up and see his grave every day,” said, Ongere who worked for the now-defunct Nairobi City Council for 26 years.
Okoth’s father was buried in Kochia in 1993 on a piece of land where his grandfather is also interred. His paternal relatives say he must be laid to rest in the same plot, too.