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Eshiwani’s wives in public spat over burial permit

The two widows of former Kenyatta University Vice-Chancellor George Eshiwani on Thursday clashed over who should be given the permit for his burial.

Mrs Grace Eshiwani and her co-wife, Rebecca Eshiwani, had travelled in the same entourage to collect the don’s body from the Aga Khan Hospital mortuary.

But a storm erupted after the hospital handed over the burial permit to Rebecca, who had brought Prof Eshiwani’s body to the hospital’s mortuary on April 4.

The standoff left the large multitude that had accompanied them stranded for over two hours outside the mortuary.

Grace, the first wife, and her son declared that the body would not leave the facility until the document was in their possession.

They paced up and down by the mortuary gates making phone calls as other family members consulted in low tones, trying to find a way out and kept the media away.


After a lengthy discussion, the family members handed Grace’s son a blue document, which he slipped into an envelope, saying: “This is all I wanted”.

Within no time, the family and friends entered their vehicles and left the mortuary for prayers at Church of God in Mulwanda, Kakamega County.

Family members told the Daily Nation that Grace had been separated from Prof Eshiwani for 20 years and had gone abroad with her seven children. Rebecca, on the other hand, has four children.

Prof Eshiwani collapsed during the burial of former Gem MP Grace Ogot and died at Yala Hospital, where he had been taken for treatment. His body was transferred to the Aga Khan Hospital mortuary.

He had served as the first Principal of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and later as the first pro-chancellor at Mt Kenya University.

At the time of his death, he was the chairman of the Technical Institutes Council. He will be buried at his Kakamega home on Saturday 18.