Thursday May 28, 2020 – Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga has been forced to apologise to members of the Luo community after he asked them to cremate bodies of their loved ones once they are dead to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Speaking over the weekend, Raila who was speaking in Dholuo, said communities should abandon, at least for now, the dangerous practice of ferrying bodies upcountry for burials because that can spread the virus and expose mourners to Covid-19.
“We must stop this cultural belief that a dead person must be ferried and buried upcountry.”
“They can be buried in cemeteries in urban areas where they died,” Raila said.
However, Raila‘s statement attracted a lot of wrath from members of the Luo community who accused him of trying to disrespect the dead.
In his defence on Thursday morning, Raila dismissed claims that he asked his community to cremate the dead saying that he only called on Kenyans to avoid burials as the country fights the spread of Coronavirus.
“I wish to clarify that in my interview with Kameme TV and Milele FM I did not ask the Luo or any other Kenyan and African community to cremate the dead as reported by The Star Newspaper,” Raila said.
“Instead, I called on Kenyans to embrace speedy burials and avoid elaborate and crowded burial ceremonies at this time of COVID-19,”Raila added.
The Kenyan DAILY POST