Police exhume body, launch investigations into Chepkube deaths
Written by Leonard Wamalwa and Paul Ogono
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Police in Mt Elgon have intensified investigation in what is believed to be brutal and inhuman incident that has seen administration police officers accused of beating up youths transporting coffee to Uganda leading to a number of them drowning in river Lwakhakha.
A body that had been buried over five days ago after it was recovered from the river has been exhumed by police and taken for postmortem to establish the cause of the death and have a medical report that may be used as evidence against those mentioned as suspects in the case.
The body of Rodgers Wakora 19 who is said to have been among the 72 youths that were attacked on the night of Oct 24 at Nalondo village along river Lwakhakha in Cheptais district had been buried by family members immediately it was recovered from the river in Teso district.
Leading the exhuming exercise in Mulukhu village of Bungoma West district, the OCPD Mt Elgon Robinson Mboloi said that the law requires that postmortem is done to all bodies whose cause of death is suspicious hence the late Wakora was no exception.
Residents and family members stayed away from the exercise explaining it was taboo in the Bukusu people.
“It is against our Bukusu tradition to witness a buried body being excavated, leave alone being involved in the exercise, ” a resident explained.
He said that the investigating officers do not want to leave any loopholes that may give room to perpetrators to challenge them.
Earlier on family members had resisted the move by police claiming that the exercise was meant to open the Pandora’s box for the family and relatives and also make them incur extra costs that they didn’t want to meet again but the OCPD made it clear that there was a court order directing that the exercise be done and therefore was not subject to negotiations.
However the OCPD assured family members that the police will themselves deliver back the body after government a pathologist has worked on it and released an official report.
Sources privy to this indicate that more bodies might be still lying in the river hence appeals made to government machineries to be deployed to assist family members that have reported that their relatives have since gone missing after the incident.