Ghosts of Siaya man: An exploration of the indifference and stigma surrounding Siaya COVID-19 man’s burial in a shallow grave at night. Why the double standards? Why the ungodly hours?
How KPA officer James Oyugi’s Siaya burial flouted the rules
External links with related content
The Kenyan social is a wildfire right now following an expose by mainstream media houses in which a covid-19 patient who hails from Siaya County in Nyanza was hurriedly buried in a shallow grave after succumbing to the coronavirus.
What caught the attention of the media is the way the burial was conducted, hurriedly and at night.
Besides, James Oyugi Onyango’s grave was very shallow, it did not meet the set standards-six feet deep.
His body was put in a body bag, a total disregard for the Luo traditions.
Who is James Oyugi Onyango(Siaya man)?
James Oyugi Onyango is a former Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) officer.
He together with his wife and two daughters travelled from Mombasa to his home in Siaya a few days ago but unfortunately succumbed to COVID-19 on Friday April 10, 2020.
The former KPA officer died at the age of 59. He was hurried buried on Sunday April 12, 2020 at 2.00 a.m. without bearing in mind the Luo traditions and rituals that might reckon curses.
So how did James Oyugi’s (KPA officer) burial flout the Luo traditions?
James Oyugi developed a cough on April 10, 2020 and was rushed to Matibabu Foundation Private Hospital.
Unfortunately, James Oyugi died on the same day samples were collected from him and taken to the Kenya Medical Research Institute, KEMRI for testing.
The samples tested positive for the coronavirus. Consequently, the police were ordered to immediately disinfect the body in preparation for burial.
To James Oyugi’s utter shock, his body was ferried at 2.00 a.m. and hurriedly buried without the dignity that the dead among the Luo are accorded.
Contrary to the Luo traditions, James Oyugi’s family was not given some time to mourn their loved one and prepare for his decent send-off.
Besides, the Luo do not bury their dead in body bags. They prepare a nice grave, coffin and suit in which the KPA officer would have been clad in when being laid to rest.
To add insult upon injury, James Oyugi was buried in a very shallow grave, approximately three feet long as opposed to the standard depth of any grave, six feet long.
In the clip that went viral, the KPA officer’s body was ferried at 2.00 a.m. in a body bag on a pick-up. There was no coffin.
Some critics have condemned this act saying that such disrespectful acts against covid-19 victims might heighten the stigma hence discourage people from getting tested for the coronavirus.
In one of the posts by Robert Alai on Twitter, he complains of the double standards since some KPA and KQ staff who had succumbed to the coronavirus were given a decent burial with few close family members allowed to attend.
Click on the link below to find out how the first coronavirus victim was buried