It started with a terse call by the Luo Council of Elders Chairman Nyandiko Ongadi who said that Monica Okoth, widow of Kibra MP Ken Okoth should be inherited by one of Okoth’s elder brothers.
“It’s upon any of the Okoth’s elder brother interested to inherit her. Should there be no brother then a close elder relative can do the same to fulfill the Luo cultural rites,” Ongadi said.
The elders demanded that Okoth’s European wife to visit Okoths native home in Kasawe, Homabay for HIV and STI testing in preparations for the ritual known as Tero Chola which starts three or more days after a husband’s burial depending on the clan.
“If truly Monica is Okoth’s wife she should honor the community’s culture and practices,” he said.
Previously, elders would appoint a man who would be in charge of cleansing all widows in the village.
The stranger is sought to stay with the widow overnight and have sexual intercourse, with the elders tasked with ensuring the ritual takes place.
Others that she was set to face include eating together with the family of her husband at home are necessary.
But thanks to ODM Chairman John Mbadi, the family of the late Kibra MP Ken Okoth will not bury a banana trunk as per the Luo community cultural and practices.
Neither will the rituals his late wife was scheduled to go through like wife inheritance, sharing of meals and shaving of hair take place.
After a closed-door meeting with the family, ODM national chairman John Mbadi and area MP Eve Obara said the family had resolved to avoid any rituals.
Mbadi said the family had agreed to undertake a prayer service instead of the rituals.
He spoke in presence of the family including Okoth’s mother.
“We’ve held a meeting with Angelina and her family members and agreed that nothing will be buried in this home instead of Okoth’s body,” Mbadi said.
The chairman said they also the family also reconciled over differences over the body’s disposal.
“The family members have also agreed to bury the hatchet following differences which occurred after Okoth’s death,” he added.
Mbadi urged the Luo community to stop remarks which may harm the reputation of the family, adding that time had come for people to accept change.
“As a community, we must not discard all our cultural practices but at the same time we should accept transformation especially the decision of a family,” Mbadi said.