By FRANCIS MUREITHI
More than 20 smart phones and several handbags were stolen during the burial of murdered Kilimani woman Monica Nyawira Kimani in Gilgil, Nakuru County, on Friday, her family has said.
The family has condemned mourners who stole valuables at the funeral attended by hundreds of people from Kenya and South Sudan.
Ms Kimani was brutally murdered at her house in Kilimani, Nairobi County, last week.
Her brother found her lifeless body in her bath tub on September 20.
Speaking to the Nation on Sunday, her father Paul Kimani Ngarama said the theft of valuables during the burial traumatised the family.
The clergyman said it is a “big sin for fake mourners to inflict more pain on families” as they send off their loved ones.
“Why would fake mourners take advantage of Monica’s death and inflict more psychological injuries on the family by stealing people’s valuables even before we buried my beloved daughter?”
Mr Kimani, a bishop, said he was touched by the pleas of one of the mourners whose Sh7,000 smart phone was stolen.
“I was forced to go to my pocket, and give the young woman Sh7,000 to buy another phone because I felt it was not fair for her to go home minus her phone after coming from far to mourn with my family,” he said.
The church leader said a South Sudan national lost an expensive iPhone.
He said all he could do was urge the victims to report the incidents to police.
“I advised them to report [the cases] so that the phones are tracked and recovered,” he said.
Mr Kimani also criticised people who printed photos of his late daughter and sold them to the people who attended the funeral at Sh50 each.
“Many people bought the pictures because they thought it was a family project,” he said and advised thorough checks of mourners and people at other gatherings.
“I strongly advise families to be vigilant and check newcomers pretending to mourn with them,” he said.
“It was just by luck that vehicles were not stolen or vandalised. Lack of security was an oversight by us and government”
He urged funeral committees to screen people at burials to prevent theft and other crimes.
The bishop noted that the thieves made their moves as people were not focused on their property.
“It is very sad. It shows how low the society has sunk morally.”