The residents of Godmiaha village in Rachuonyo East, Homa Bay county, were left in shock when a 38-year-old man they believed had died and was about to be buried resurfaced at his funeral ceremony to confirm he was not dead.

The man identified as Kenney Olwa is reported to have vanished for about two decades ago, and when news was heard that he had died from undsclosed illness, his remains was moved to Homa Bay County Referral Hospial mortuary by the police, before the family proceeded to the morgue to collect the body for burial.

According to Ramba chief Joseph Ndege the family had indeed been informed about their son’s demise, after which a few people were sent to the mortuary to find out if the person that was taken there by the police was Olwa.

Upon seeing the body, the family members were convinced it was that of their son Olwa, so they made death announcement, including via radio, and started making funeral arrangements.

Unknown to the relatives, Olwa, who reportedly used to work as a fisherman at Mbita Town after he disappeared from home and before he relocated to Alum beach along Lake Victoria, also received news about his death broadcasted on the local radio stations.

According to the area chief, Olwa called back home to inform the family he is still alive to halt the unnecessary and costly funeral arrangements.

Unpersuaded the caller was their son, the same person they were preparing to bury, a few members of the family dashed to Alum beach in Rachuonyo North sub-county to find out more. This was even as the funeral arrangements continued as had been planned.

Hours later, the relatives who had gone to meet the caller came back home with him and found the funeral ceremony underway.

When they saw him, it became clear the body they had collected from the morgue belonged to someone else.

The body was immediately returned to the mortuary in a shocking turn of events.

Incidents of families collecting wrong bodies from the mortuary or even burying the wrong person are not new in Kenya.

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