Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya on Wednesday, July 22, addressed the reports that his administration was in the process of purchasing land for mass graves.
In a statement, the governor stated that the issue had been misinterpreted in the media.
Oparanya noted that the county was planning to relocate the current cemetery situated within the municipality to an alternative land in the outskirts as part of a plan to decongest Kakamega Town.
The Council of Governors (COG) chairperson explained that the current facility was fully occupied and was incapable of accomodating any more graves.
“For any town to be elevated to city status, proper planning that includes the provision of a cemetery for burying the dead has to be factored,” he observed.
Oparanya added that part of the Covid-19 preparedness requirement was to allocate a cemetery for locals who might not be willing or in a position to bury their loved ones in their homes.
“Our Muslim brothers and sisters for instance do not subscribe to our burial traditions of keeping dead bodies for long.
“Such people must be considered as they are also stakeholders in this community requiring such facilities,” he noted.
He also called on politicians to desist from politicising sensitive matters and misleading the public as he appealed to media houses to report issues factually.
“Some media [houses] have even gone ahead to report that the county government has already purchased the alleged land at a cost of Ksh5 billion which is pure lies.
“We have not yet spent any single cent on the plan,” he clarified.
The governor reminded the public, however, that death is inevitable and as a leader of a government, it is important to prepare well so as to meet the needs of the residents.
His response came after former Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale accused the governor of investing more in graveyards rather than in preventive and treatment strategies for Covid-19.
“He has been given Ksh100 million by the county assembly to fight coronavirus and instead of fighting the disease using that money, he has gone and bought land in Mumias and Lukiyani so as to be burying our people when they die from the virus,” Khalwale stated.