A mother is fighting to have the body of her 32 year old son exhumed after her estranged partner buried it despite a court order barring him from doing so.
Prisca Gona and Timothy Mwambogo are the parents of the late Raphael Gona. They parted two years after Raphael was born with Raphael moving away with the mother.
Following the son’s death in January, the two have been in and out of court seeking orders to bury him. However, the body was taken from the mortuary last Sunday where it had been lying for the last four months. Ms Gona is now saying the father ‘stole” the body as there was a court order barring him from picking it.
Talking to the Standard newspaper, Ms Gona said she had the baby with Mr Mwambogo but they separated when the baby was two years and Mr Mwambogo resurfaced when the son died and went to court stopping her from burying him.
Ms Gona further says she was not legally married to Mr Mwambogo as they were only cohabiting. He did not pay the bride price or palm wine for the the children according to the Mijikenda culture. In Mijikenda culture, the children belong to a man who has met all the traditional cultural requirements.
Mwambogo moved to court in March following Raphael’s death and applied for the restraining orders before Senior Resident Magistrate Silvia Wewa.
“From the foregoing I do find that the claim by the plaintiff is proved on a balance of probability. I do enter in the plaintiff’s favour. The plaintiff is entitled to have the remains of the son and have the same interred,” ruled Wewa.
“They went to the mortuary on Saturday at 11pm and with the help of the hospital administrator they removed the body and buried it on Sunday in total disregard of a court order,” George Gona, the deceased’s uncle told the Standard yesterday.
According to Ms Gona’s brother, Mr Mwambogo used his influence with security to get the body and later quickly buried it at him home on Sunday, totally disregarding the court order.
Edit: An earlier version of this story stated Ms Gona separated with the husband when the child was two months. The child was actually two years.