Details have emerged of a confrontation between Deputy President William Ruto's allies and morgue attendants at the Lee Funeral Home, where retired President Daniel arap Moi's body was taken to after he passed away at Nairobi Hospital on Tuesday, February 4.
A report published by the Daily Nation on Thursday, February 6, detailed that Ruto who arrived at the funeral home with his brigade, composing legislators and Rift Valley leaders but was not allowed to view Mzee's body.
This was after he had addressed the nation at Harambee Annex, where he had mourned Moi describing him as his mentor. Ruto's arrival at Lee raised questions after government officials were not in sight, despite his itinerary being made public in advance.
In his company were Kapsaret MP Oscar Sudi, Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen and former State House comptroller Franklin Bett.
"Immediately after the DP arrived, a number of politicians he had come with and those who had gathered outside waiting for him to be driven in walked into the morgue together.
"When we got in, we were ushered into an office with the DP being offered a chair. Some sat while some of us stood," a source disclosed to the outlet.
Sudi then reportedly asked the administration to allow the DP to view the body, a request which the attendant refused to heed to.
"A mzungu whom we believed is the manager or owner of the facility listened to us briefly before making it known that the request could not be granted immediately," the source revealed while stating that they were asked to wait for one and a half hours as the body was being embalmed.
This apparently irked Ruto's entourage that felt that the waiting card pulled on them was a scheme to sideline them borne of the rivalry between Baringo Senator Gideon Moi and Ruto.
At that point, Ruto asked the agitated allies to patiently wait outside and give him some room to discuss with the attendant patiently.
"A minute later, Ruto also came out having not viewed the body as the rest of us," the source proclaimed.
Ruto then left for Kakamega County, where he condoled the victims of the Kakamega Primary School tragedy.
Bett, however, argued that the motive was not sinister as the body was being embalmed, arguing that Ruto was warmly received by Gideon when the DP visited them at Kabarnet Gardens, Nairobi, later that evening.
“I found the explanation given by the management on the preparation of the body as genuine with no political undertones or arm-twisting. I run a hospital with a similar facility in Kericho, and I understand when a body is being prepared. It is a messy affair and cannot be viewed.
“Anyone trying to bring in politics is being malicious. You must remember that the DP was warmly received by the Moi family when he flew in the evening from Kakamega," Bett argued.
While on NTV's Sidebar, hosted by Ken Mijungu, ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi and former Westlands MP Fred Gumo also asserted that it was a normal thing for one to be denied the opportunity to view a body, especially if it was being embalmed.
"You are pushing this argument to an unknown illogical position. I also saw the late president Moi himself being informed that he could not view a body and he would agree and state that he would visit later. Even when he (Moi) was alive and we wanted to seek an appointment with him at Kabarak, his son Gideon informed us that it was not prudent and we had to postpone. I never made a big deal out of it," Mudavadi stated.
"At Lee Funeral, you view a body by appointment. When they tell you viewing is at a certain time, they prepare the body and it is viewed, after that if anyone comes later, they would not be granted the honour," Gumo added.
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