Last week, people in Eldoret were treated to a shocking incident when a corpse that was being ferried from a mortuary 'refused to go home for a decent burial'.
The vehicle, which was carrying the remains of Albert Kipkoech, failed to move on reaching Uganda road in the Kidiwa area on the outskirts of the town.
The deceased’s family frantically pushed the vehicle but in vain. They concluded that Kipkoech was not ready to proceed with his final journey.
The owner of the new pick-up and those in the cortege could not detect any mechanical fault and were puzzled by the development.
It was more shocking to the residents when the car was put in reverse gear and started moving smoothly towards the mortuary.
But when they turned back to proceed with the journey home, the vehicle would not move although the engine was running well.
It was then that they resolved to consult elders on the next move so that the body could arrive at its destination before dusk.
The elders decided that the body be removed from the coffin and given a "thorough whipping to make it accept to proceed home for the burial".
Mourners followed the instructions to the letter and after a thorough caning, Kipkoech gave in and proceeded home for burial.
The mourners broke into ululations and praise when the car started moving forward.
Laid to restKipkoech died last week and his body was taken from the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital mortuary to his parents’ home in Majengo estate in Quarry area of Eldoret West District.
Kurgat, father of the deceased, says the body was scheduled to spend the night at his parents’ home before being laid to rest at Kiplombe cemetery the following day.
According to him, the deceased died of meningitis and had been living in the streets of Eldoret for several years.
"He was not living at home and we knew nothing about him until he fell ill and was taken to the hospital where he died," said Kurgat.
One of his cousins said that he does not understand why the deceased was refusing to ‘go’ home for the burial.
"The car has enough fuel and has no mechanical problem. I wonder what curse befell the deceased for him to decline to travel home for burial," said Ben Nyambiecha, a cousin.
Relatives and family members were stuck for almost four hours. "The car moves very well when driven towards the mortuary but when it is driven towards home it doesn’t move," said his father.
Members of the public pushed the vehicle for almost three kilometres.
BewitchedSome in the crowd speculated that Kipkoech might have done something bad before running away to live in the streets.
An elderly woman from the dead man’s village, Leah Rotich, said such acts are not common among the Kalenjin community and suspected that the deceased might have been bewitched.
"I have never seen anything like this in my entire life and especially in my community. This must be a curse," she said.
Peter Wafula, a Luhya elder, says if such a thing happens in the community, the body is removed from the coffin and given several strokes to cleanse it.
He gave the case of a woman from his community who threw her two children into a dam and later committed suicide.