For the last four years, a family at Komo village in Thika, Kiambu County, has been engulfed by grief, hopelessness and devastation following the death of their son who was mauled to death by hyenas.
All these years, some of the remains of Joseph Njuguna who was attacked while grazing livestock has been preserved at the government’s chemist denying his family the opportunity to bury him.
Two days after the attack in early 2017, his family members said they collected a few body parts among them ribs, intestines, bones, hair and tattered clothes some of which they have been storing at home to avoid huge costs of preserving them at a morgue.
The remains are carefully kept in a green sack inside a wooden box in the family house that is tucked over 20 kilometres from Thika Superhighway.
Appalled by the apparent delay by the government to release results of samples sent at government chemist, the distressed family has lost hope in burying their son.
According to the deceased’s younger brother Fredrick Kahuha, the government has been frustrating their efforts of trying to access the DNA results which would qualify them to access a burial permit from local authorities.
“Every time we ask about the results from the government, we are told to wait for further analysis. The government seems to deny that my brother's death was as a result of hyenas attack but we have enough evidence to prove it,” Kahuha stated.
He added that four years of waiting for communication from the government have been filled with trauma, fury and denial that their son was mauled by the wild animals.
He said that as a result of the occurrence, their father succumbed to high blood pressure and their mother Margaret Njeri's health is still deteriorating.
Njeri on her side maintained that despite the delay, her son was attacked and killed by animals that the government should be manning.
While appealing for faster investigations into the matter, Njeri stated that the wish of the family, at least for now, is to accord their son a decent send off adding that continued preservation of his remains inside the house has been haunting them.
“The four years of waiting have been very challenging. We hardly imagine that we live in the same house with Njuguna’s remains and it’s not within our culture to fail to bury loved ones once they die,” the distraught woman said.
The family made the appeal in the wake of re-emerged hyenas attack in various villages within Kiambu County and which authorities have confirmed as having killed two people in one week.