Why Raila Odinga's friend was buried at 4am in Siaya County

A family was accused of taboo after burying a tycoon at 8am, shocking hundreds of mourners among them Members of Parliament, who had turned up for the funeral. Renowned Nakuru businessman Eliakim Washington Olweny was buried under tight security in a brief and tense dawn ceremony at his home in Ugenya, Ukwala following weeks of wrangling among his three wives.

Elders said family members had defied tradition and would be haunted for the rest of their lives because they had failed to conduct elaborate Luo cultural burial rites. Leaders, who included Siaya Senator James Orengo, Ugenya MP David Ochieng', his Langata counterpart Joash Olum, area Member of County Assembly Jack Odinga and Ugenya Parliamentary hopeful David Ohito arrived at the home at about 11am to mourn the businessman who had close links with ODM leaders only to be told he had been buried.

"We were shocked to find that our friend had been interred early in the morning due to a family dispute," said Mr Ohito, the outgoing Standard Group Online Editor. Mourners who had walked out of the compound, promptly returned to the homestead and demanded to be addressed by the Siaya Senator. Some of the leaders present protested over the early burial.

"It is unfair that such a hardworking person and role model — someone who deserved a befitting sendoff was hurriedly buried like a child because of a family feud. We do not really understand the cause of this, but it is not fair," said the MCA.

The late Olweny died of cancer on November 28 last year but could not be buried because two of his three widows filed a suit blocking his burial, claiming they had been locked out of burial arrangements by their co-wife. Norah Olweny and Annah Wanjiru, the second and third wife respectively, filed the case before Senior Resident Magistrate Faith Munyi seeking temporary orders to stop the burial.

They accused the first wife, Mrs Phelesia Olweny, and her sons Timothy and Edwin of locking them out of the burial plans. Last week, the court allowed them to bury their husband after they hammered out an out-of court agreement.

Close family members declined to speak to the press but Ukwala OCPD Paul Tiriki said the first wife's family asked to be guarded during the early morning ceremony. "As soon as mass was over, they laid the engineer to rest. We were asked to provide security because we were made to understand the wives had issues," said Mr Tiriki.

Hon Raila Odinga contributed ksh. 100,000 during the funeral fundraiser in Nakuru last year.

Source: Standardmedia.co.ke

In other news.

Funeral Communication has metamophosized since 1900. In early 1900 people relied on fire to communicate to another. When one died in those days, people would light up fires at night and the fire would signify that death had occurred in that community.

When the radio waves hit Kenya in the 1960s, the whole model of funeral announcements procedure changed. The AM Radio frequencies were used to make funeral announcements at particularly times. At the same time print media started to publish obituaries pages and to date a number of local radio FM station have perfected the process of funeral announcements.

Local FM station charges per word which at the end of an announcement culminate to over thousands. Local DAILY NATIONAL NEWSPAPERS charges over Ksh. 14,000 for black and white and over 24,000 for colored print announcements.

What the bereaved have never stopped to ask is what value does putting up an announcement on daily newspaper or announcing on local FM station will add. It is a common knowledge that when one dies at least in the next one hour all those who will be crucial to him or her will be aware of the loss. Then why would we use so much money to go publish obituaries on daily papers?

Fast forward to 2014 the government of Kenya has embraced digitalizing of its services and funeral announcements has already adopted to e-announcement online @www.celebratelife.co.ke.

This is an online one stop portal for all funeral related services and products. Fully Digitalized! This is a news platform that reports the recent transition/death of a person, typically along with an account of the person's life and information about the upcoming funeral. Announcing transition and putting up a permanent memorial of our loved ones is probably the best way to celebrate their lives. This value added website is a permanent way of sharing memories with family, relatives and friends from anywhere in the world.