• April 20, 2024
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Government to start releasing Shakahola bodies to relatives next week

Government to start releasing Shakahola bodies to relatives next week

Malindi,

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

KNA by Emmanuel Masha

The Government will from next Tuesday March 26, 2024 start releasing bodies of victims of the Shakahola massacre to relatives for interment, Chief Government Johansen Oduor said Wednesday.

Speaking to journalists at the Malindi Sub County Hospital Funeral Home, Dr. Oduor said the Government Chemist had positively linked 34 out of the 428 bodies exhumed from graves within the Shakahola forest in the four phases of exhumations to their relatives.

Dr. Oduor, who was flanked by Mr. Martin Nyuguto, the Head of the Homicide Division of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, said the identified relatives had been informed and would get psycho-social support before the bodies are released to them.

“The process includes logistics which we are carrying out this week, which is organizing for counsellors who will counsel these people and also contact relatives who will come here for the purpose of taking the bodies of their loved ones,” he said.

He said the relatives would have to present themselves with letters from their respective chiefs and the persons who gave out the DNA samples for them to be given the bodies for interment.

The Chief Government Pathologist said bodies that would not be claimed by relatives after some time specified by the law would be buried by the government but said this would be done in a way that in case relatives come up and are positively identified, the bodies would be exhumed and handed over to them.

He said phase five of the exhumations would resume immediately the exercise to release the bodies to relatives is complete, noting that 30 more graves had been identified and mapped in the Shakahola forest for the exercise.

He said the challenge the scientists have had is that although they have profiled a number of relatives, many of them had not been linked to the bodies but noted that the profiling was on going.

Noting that people were not coming up to claim the bodies of their loved ones, Dr. Oduor urged relatives who know that their loved ones were in Shakahola to come up for their DNA to be taken or linked to the ones that have been generated from the bodies.

This is going on even as 95 suspects of the infamous incident are facing various cases in four courts within the Coast Region, among them 31 who are facing charges related to the murder of 191 children.

Courtesy; KNA

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