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Thursday July 23, 2020 – Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya has sought to set the record straight over reports that his administration was in the process of purchasing land for mass graves in its preparedness for deaths from the Covid-19 pandemic in his County.

In a statement to Kenyans, Oparanya stated that the issue had been misinterpreted in the media noting that the County was planning to relocate the current cemetery situated within the municipality to an alternative land in the outskirts of the town as part of a plan to decongest Kakamega.

The Council of Governors (COG) chairperson explained that the current facility was fully occupied and was incapable of accommodating 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 and 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.

However, Oparanya reminded the public 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 than in preventive and treatment strategies for Covid-19.


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