Jubilee MP flees, mourners abandon coffin by roadside after bee attack
An MP and other mourners were forced to flee and abandon a coffin by the roadside during a dramatic bee attack in Theria village, Laikipia West, on Tuesday.
Nominated MP Maina Kamanda was among mourners who attended the funeral of the late Mzee Joshua Njuguna, 79, in Laikipia County.
Scores of mourners were left with swollen faces, hands, backs and legs. An unverified number of sheep also died during the attack.
The funeral mass proceeded well at Theria Catholic Church, Muchongoi Parish, but as the mourners were making their way to the home of the deceased, a swarm of bees descended on them.
Mourners scattered in different directions as they scampered for safety, abandoning the coffin outside the entrance of the deceased’s home .
“Before we knew what was happening people started screaming and running in different directions,” said Alice Muthoni, one of the mourners.
“As the bees started stinging people, we had no option but to leave the body midway and run our lives,” the mourner narrated to Nation.
The coffin was later moved to a nearby shopping centre.
Mourners, including the nominated MP, watched from a distance as they waited for the bees to go away.
“I have never seen such a huge swarm of bees in my entire life. I also never knew that they can be that hostile,” Susana Njeri, another mourner said.
Three people including a woman and her child were rushed to Karandi Health Centre for medical attention.
“Some people were injured after they were stung by the bees, while others got injured after falling down when running,” said Mr Stephen Mwangi, a mourner.
The funeral resumed two hours later when the bees had left the compound with Father John Muthaka leading the burial ceremony.
Few mourners, however, attended the burial rites at the grave, many keeping off for fear of being stung.
Villagers claimed the bees were kept by a son of the deceased who also died March. They said the bees might have been disturbed by children who provoked them.
“His son, who was a teacher at Kiambogo Primary School, died early this year leaving the bees in the compound,” said Ms Esther Wambui, a neighbor.
“This is the first time we have seen them attacking people and we suspect that they were provoked by children,” she added.