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The remains of a 64-year-old woman have finally been interred after staying in the mortuary for 240 days following a land dispute.

Selly Jerono died in January at Nandi-Hills Hospital. Her body was ferried for burial to Kipkures village within Kimwani ADC farm, but a casket carrying it was taken away by a contingent of armed police.

The coffin had just been lowered in the grave when the officers descended to stop the burial.

One Charity Cheptum had obtained a court order restraining Jerono’s son William Kiplimo from burying his mother’s remains in  the disputed land.

The officers fired teargas to disperse mourners, as they grabbed the casket. As the dramatic incident unfolded, mourners fled as others set ablaze sugarcane plantations in protest.

The family argued that the deceased was a former employee of the ADC farm having been born and bred and married within the same locality. Jerono and her children had lived as squatters and were waiting to be settled by the state corporation.

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Jerono’s body was taken to Kapsabet Hospital mortuary, pending conclusion of the case filed by Cheptum on behalf of landowner Pauline Ejakulo.

Court documents said Cheptum was named the caretaker of the land allotted by ADC to Ejakulo — an American citizen of Kenyan descent.

On Wednesday, Kapsabet resident magistrate B.W. Wachira ruled that his court had no jurisdiction to hear and determine the ownership of the land. He said that as is a preserve of a higher court.

He nullified an injunction stopping Jerono’s burial on the disputed land registered as ADC Kimwani plot number 129. Jerono’s family hurriedly went to the mortuary and collected the body. The county government waived Sh300,000 mortuary bill.

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