In Summary
  • Kola Location Chief Zipporah Kithyaka confirmed that Ms Nzakwa’s body has not been interred.
  • An official at the mortuary told the Nation that the bill has been rising and is currently in millions of shillings.
  • A Machakos court rejected Mr Musau’s submissions that his mother’s remains should be buried next to her husband’s grave.

It is fifteen years and counting as the body of a woman lies in a mortuary in Machakos County as her sons and step-brothers differ on where she should be buried.

The body of Esther Nzakwa Kitivo has been at the Machakos Funeral Home since 2004 as her sons continue engaging their step-brothers in a protracted succession dispute.

Speaking by phone, an official at the mortuary told the Nation that the body has been in their custody for 15 years now.


“The bill is still rising as each day. It is in millions of shillings,” the official who introduced herself as Jemima said.

“We have not seen her kin for some years now,” she added.

After Ms Nzakwa’s death on August 31, 2004, her step-son, Maurice Ndambuki Kitivo, went to court seeking an order to restrain his half-brother, Michael Musau Kitivo, from burying his mother on a piece of land he claimed was given to him by their father before he died.

In the case at the chief magistrate’s court in Machakos, Mr Ndambuki sought orders to stop Mr Musau from burying his mother alongside their father on the land located in Kitanga in Kalama, Machakos County.


He also wanted a declaration that the land his father gave him be deemed to be his to the exclusion of all other members of his father’s family, and, therefore, his step-mother could not be buried there without his consent.

But Mr Musau argued that, according to Kamba customary law, “the body of his mother should be interred next to her husband’s on the disputed land”.

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