There was drama in Tieng’re, Kisumu County in Kenya as the body of a man buried almost two months ago on a disputed piece of land was on Tuesday exhumed following a directive issued by a High Court.
Villagers at the scene who couldn’t believe their eyes watched as youths hired by Gibson Onunga, who claims legal ownership of the disputed land, pulled out the casket containing remains of the late Ogada Ouko.
This, however, sparked protests by some villagers, forcing them to get into a fight with law enforcement officers who had been called to oversee the process.
In dispersing the angry mob, the officers fired several teargas canisters chase away the demonstrators.
After the coffin was pulled out, and placed into a waiting police lorry, a group of youths was ordered to demolish a house that belonged to the deceased on the disputed land.
According to Nairobi News, the conflict started in 2014 following Mr. Ouko’s death.
It was claimed that the deceased’s uncle had sold the piece of land to Mr. Onunga at a ‘cheap price’ in 2007.
However, Mr. Onunga insists he is the rightful owner of the land that was legally purchased in 1986 and transaction concluded.
‘In the year 2007, I was given this land by my dad. I have lived here since. At some point, there were claims that the land was bought at a throwaway price and that we should give it out,” he says.
“Following the deceased’s death in 2014, his clan unanimously agreed he should be buried in the controversial parcel of land, but I moved to court to challenge the decision. But as the case went on, the deceased relatives went ahead to bury him one and a half months ago.
‘I, therefore, reported the matter to the police as well as obtained orders to exhume the body and demolish a structure that had been put up on my land,’ He said.
According to Kennedy Onyango, the acting Korando B sub-location Chief, he said they got orders stopping burial and any construction on the disputed land.
‘It is unfortunate that the burial was done notwithstanding the court order,” he told Nairobi News.
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