A coffin carrying the body of former Kitui Mayor Martha Mwangangi, who was crushed to death by a fire engine last week, was carried into her house in Mwembe Tayari Village by infuriated mourners when Kitui Governor Dr Julius Malombe arrived at funeral.
Mwangangi’s family had earlier in the week sent a letter to the governor barring him from attending the ex-Mayor’s funeral, saying it was a private function.
Governor Malombe, however, ignored the warning and made his way to the funeral held at 2pm on Friday, where angry youth and mourners erupted into chaos demanding that he leaves the funeral.
Governor Malombe stayed put, nonetheless, and that is when angry mourners carried the ex-Mayor’s casket and locked it in the main house.
For nearly 45 minutes the governor waited around, but when he saw the chaos were getting out of hand, he left the funeral in a huff alongside his entourage.
The presiding pastor at the funeral asked Mwangangi’s family not to release her body from the house, saying it would be disrespect to carry the remains of a loved one from place to place in such a chaotic environment.
He went on with the service, and said that the body would only be removed from the house when time to lower it into the grave reached.
Martha Mwangangi was last Friday run over by a County Government of Kitui truck during a demonstration to protest the demolition of kiosks allegedly constructed on road reserves.
Former Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu who was accompanying Mwangangi at the time of the incident narrowly escaped unharmed.
Ngilu expressed utter dismay at the turn of events saying she suspected foul play.
“I was the target,” Ngilu said shortly after the incident.
The former Cabinet Secretary will be vying for the Kitui County gubernatorial seat in 2017 General elections.
Tension remained high in the town on Friday afternoon